As promised, yesterday I went for a walk around the neighborhood to check out the archery competition. As expected, there is absolutely no exciting Olympic vibe from my flat, except for the occasional hoots and hollers from the pub patrons across the street. If it weren’t for all the “London 2012” signs on televised competitions, I’d believe the Olympics were taking place in China again. Besides Lord’s in my neighborhood and the infamous Horse Guards Parade, most of the events take place in Olympic Park, way out in East London. I believe Dave Barry said it best in his recent Miami Herald humor column: ‘The East End is part of London in much the same way that Pittsburgh is part of New York City; it is a lonnngggg way from the city center.”
So while I couldn’t even see or hear the opening ceremonies fireworks from my flat, I can walk to where the archery competition is taking place. So I did. And it was slightly disappointing. I don’t know what I expected — a stray arrow to fly past me in the street? To hear some announcers or crowds cheering? I heard nothing. Lord’s is very isolated, surrounded by a high brick wall. I snapped this photo of people waiting around outside. I’m not sure what they were waiting for as this wasn’t even the entrance. Extra tickets? Security? A chance to meet the famous South Korean archers? (Remember when I saw them on the street and didn’t know if they were any good? Well apparently they are, one of them is half blind and still set a world record!) Considering all the warnings we received about avoiding venue areas because they’d be insanely crowded, it wasn’t bad at all. Apparently nobody cares about archery qualifiers.
I walked around the perimeter hoping to see more, but everything was so guarded. I took this photo of the official archery banners and a random green van:
I wonder how they decided the official colours of the Olympics this year would be hot pink? That’s probably the last color I think of when I think “London” (I think red or blue), but I guess it does stand out on the signs.
So no big exciting “the Olympics are in my neighborhood!” stories. I’ll be catching today’s action from the comfort of my couch, since I’m still feeling under the weather. Looking forward to watching the women’s gymnastics qualifiers soon. Hopefully since the US is in the same group as Britain they’ll air it on BBC 1 or 3.