I’ve certainly mentioned it a few times now… and the title of the post clearly gives it away, but I was in London for the Olympics! Just sayin’ ; ) (We have an Olympic tradition!) We only went to gymnastics events because tickets were pretty scarce, and that’s our very favorite sport. After 10 days of Olympic excitement my regular work/ life day to day makes for a case of the London blues. Anyone else having Olympic withdraw? When I got home, Andy and I watched tons of platform (eek!) diving, track and field (I love how when they finish they throw themselves on the track and rest!) and Andy’s fave… basketball! With the closing ceremonies, it’s back to Parks and Rec, Seinfeld re-runs, and the National Geographic channel for us!
I thought I’d share my top 10 Olympics/ London moments to re-live my glory days…ha! A few involve crafty/ home decor things. If you followed along on instagram (thecraftblog), feel free to stop reading here. You’ve probably seen most of these!
1: The energy of the arena after the women’s gymnastics team won the gold! In the world of gymnastics, this is the ultimate greatest accomplishment and we were there (in glowing head pieces) to watch Team USA become Olympic Champions. We beat Russia by 5.066 points. That’s is a whole heck of a ton in the gymnastics. All 3 girls could have fallen on bean and we still would have won. Crazy town. (A fall on beam in FIG rules is a 1.0 deduction, more on scoring here if you’re interested). We had flags suck in our pony tails and light up headbands. We were the
obnoxious spirited Americans!
2: Gabby and her coach, Liang Chow, hugging after she won the All Around title. We were lucky, and had pretty awesome seats in the first place, but the true story is a few of us would sneak ourselves into better seats as often as we could. One might have thought security would be checking to see if you were supposed to be in “athlete seating”, lucky for us that wasn’t the case or maybe our super cool USA jackets made us look like athletes ; ) Thus some of our awesome pictures:
3: My Kate Middleton spotting! She was literally sitting 5 rows in front of us. (Another day of “athlete seating”!) Funny story: A few days before the Kate spotting, my friend made me believe that Michelle Obama was 3 rows in front of us. I was half way to the random woman before she finally told me she was kidding! (Recognizing famous people is not my forte!) So, when Tina told me Kate was “right there”, I didn’t believe her. Thankfully, the sweet British lady sitting next to us confirmed the spotting. The icing on the cake was when the 4 girls on the team not competing walked up the aisle (it was vault finals), Kate jumped up to congratualte them. Gabby even said in a recent interview that meeting Kate was “definitely an exciting experience”. We witnessed this interaction!
4: Staying in the shabby chic meets modern town house in Tooting Bec with 7 other totally awesome people for a week. It makes me miss the craziness of growing up in a family of 8. It was fun “living” in a neighborhood in London and doing things like taking a walk in park and going to the grocery store. We pretended we were Londoners for a week! I LOVED the giant sky lights, the monster bookshelf, and the extra long dining room table.
5: Sight seeing in London and realizing that the London Bridge is just a boring old bridge despite the nursery rhyme fantasy bridge in my head. Yep, the top right picture is the London Bridge. Shocked? I was. It was like realizing there’s no Easter bunny. What I thought of as the London bridge is just a wee bit down the river (bottom left picture) and is called the Tower Bridge.
6: Hearing and listening (and attempting) British accents. I’m not good. At all. But it sure was entertaining to try. Some of our favorite words include: Bloody, tube (subway), biscuit (cracker), loo (bathroom), lad, handbag (purse), rubbish (trash), smashing (awesome) and sweets (candy). And lots of things are lovely. You can have a lovely day or wear a lovely dress… it sounds so… sophisticated.
Seeing stalking other famous people at the Olympics. Remember in #2, I said I’m not good at recognizing famous people. I know the name Al Rocker, but I would have never been able to pick him out! Thankfully, I had hawk eyed audience scanners with me : ) Here are a few of my favorites meetings: Al Rocker, Shawn Johnson, Greg Louganis.
8: Watching Germany’s Oskana Chusovitna compete at her 6th Olympics. Competing in 6 Olympics is amazing in itself, but unheard of in the world of gymnastics. Her story is the epitome of maternal love. At 37, Oskana earned the 5th best woman in the world on vault title at the 2012 Olympics games. Wow!
9: Learning to appreciate American appliances (minus the wine opener)! This may sound silly, but you have no idea how great our washers, dryers, hair dryers, dishwashers, etc are compared to the British counterparts. I showed you the house we stayed in (#4) it was not too shabby, but the washer/dryer combo situation was basically un-useable. We attempted 2 loads, and it left clothes damp and wrinklier than a wadded piece of paper. It also randomly stained things. The dishwasher was teeny tiny. Not nearly big enough for our coffee, pasta loving group of 8, and the hairdryers are those kind where you have to hold down the button to keep it on… do you know what I mean? Also, I’m not sure if this is a British thing or an old house thing, but there are NO outlets in the bathrooms… weird, right? This is not a complaint, just a mere observation with a new found appreciation for my daily life in the USA! One day, I will have this mega sturdy wine opener attached to my wall!
10: Deciding to change our tickets and stay for 4 more nights in London! This meant we got to see women’s and men’s event finals! McKayla won a bronze on vault and Aly won a gold on floor and a bronze on beam! While I did not get to actually see the following event happen, it’s pretty comical. Gym parents everywhere will especially appreciate Aly’s enthusiastic parents nervously cheering on their daughter’s bar routine:
And there we have it folks, my top 10 Olympic 2012 memories. What a holiday! (Another favorite British word!) What was your favorite London 2012 moment? What is your favorite sport to watch? Was anyone else in London? Have you ever used a washer/dryer combo? Do you own a giant wine opener? Are you planning on going to Rio in 2016? The official countdown has begun!
ps read about the Olympic experience from a British perspective here.