tourmaline: (olympics)
You've seen the statistics I'm sure. 27 golds, 23 silver, 17 bronze medals. Second on the medal table, above China. First host nation ever to increase their overall medal tally in their first away Olympics after hosting. Gold medals across 15 different sports, more than any other team, and medals of any colour across 19. It still feels a bit unreal that it all went so well for Team GB, even though it went less well for some team members. Tokyo 2020 will be a real test I think, so many of the London 2012 generation who competed at Rio will be retired or will regard Tokyo as their swansong. The trick is to ensure there are plenty of new competitors to take their place, and it will be hard work, even though we're better equipped than ever to ensure these competitors come through. But I think there is a determination that we never want to see the likes of the medal tally from Atlanta again. We've had our nadir in Olympic sport, just as we had it in league football, albeit of a more unpleasant nature.

Tokyo is a long way off, but we've got the Paralympics in a couple of weeks' time so all the cheering on Great Britain is really only half-way through. And we'll be hosting the World Athletics Championships in 2017 in the Olympic Stadium. Then beyond that, 2018 has the Winter Olympics, Winter Paralympics, and the Commonwealth Games. Once Rio is past, there'll be plenty to look forward to.

So far

Friday, August 12th, 2016 09:11 pm
tourmaline: (olympics)
So far it's been pretty good for Team GB at the Rio Olympics - currently 6 golds, 8 silvers, 6 bronze - 20 in all, 4th on the medal table behind USA, China, & Japan. We're at the start of velodrome coverage so hopefully that will increase. It felt a bit tentative on Tuesday, as it was mentioned that we'd had more 4th places than any other nation, but then Wednesday was a productive day. It's not easy to watch much of the time, especially in cycling - Team GB are so strong but you can never underestimate the competition, everyone else (especially Australia) would love to beat us to gold I'm sure. But it has been good to see Team GB winning new medals, we've won our first gold in diving and today our first ever medal in trampolining.

One concern I can see is that there are lots of empty seats, if there are any sell-out sports they're still to come (which is understandable as the athletics only started today). During the men's road race last weekend there was a point where lots of the cyclists disappeared off to the side for a pee stop, the BBC commentator pointed out that this would never happen in the UK as there would always be far too many fans lining the route.

I bought an Amazon Fire stick today so I can watch Olympics coverage late at night, as the TV in my bedroom has until now only had a DVD connected, no other broadcast receiver plugged in. It was very easy to set up. Because I wanted it quickly I went with the 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, hoping for some good free movies to watch after the Olympics, but all I've found is Paddington and a film about Queen Victoria. It's just like back in the early 1980s when we first started renting videotapes, going into the video store hoping for a decent (or at least recent) film and finding a load of titles you've never heard of before. I've no plans to continue with a Prime subscription once the trial is up, so it'll be a one-off purchase, cheaper than a second cable box (albeit with fewer channels).

Rio 2016

Saturday, August 6th, 2016 03:10 pm
tourmaline: (olympics)
I managed to stay up until almost 3am last night, to the end of the athlete's parade. I'd TiVo'd the opening ceremony but having seen highlights of what I missed I don't think I'm going to be watching it. Hazel Irvine did the same Ouagadougou joke as she did during the London 2012 opening ceremony.

Have been watching some of the live coverage today - cycling, with the men's road race, which I stuck with for so long because Rio is absolutely beautiful. Much of the cycling was along a coastal road, with plenty of views of a lush blue sea, wonderful waves crashing on the beach. I'm now watching the rowing, the Serbian men's pair fell in the water but they must be rescued by now because it's the women's double sculls with Katherine Grainger and Victoria Thornley, Grainger in her fifth Olympics.
tourmaline: (olympics)
Lizzy Yarnold wins Skeleton gold

So awesome! She won World Cup gold not long ago so was in great form to come into the Olympics with. And in four runs she broke the course record twice. Add in Jenny Jones' bronze medal in slopestyle from a few days ago - Britain's first Olympic medal on snow - and we're something like twelfth on the medal table. And it means that Team GB retains the women's skeleton gold, after Amy Williams (commentating for the BBC in Sochi) won it in Vancouver.

We have Jess overnight - she's just gone to bed - and she wasn't sure about the Winter Olympics at first but I explained that the Olympics isn't in our country (or even down the road) every time. Dad has got all the Lego we had as children out of the loft so we have been making Lego aeroplanes of various descriptions.

It's also thirty years today since Torvill and Dean won Ice Dance gold at Sarajevo:

They've recreated the routine for a special performance returning to Sarajevo and the now-rebuilt ice skating hall as part of an initiative to mark the 30th anniversary of the Games and to help re-establish Sarajevo as a home of winter sport.

Week off

Saturday, September 14th, 2013 03:04 pm
tourmaline: (home-made bread)
Today is the first day of a week off work, assuming weekends count, which they do. No major plans yet apart from the usual visit to Birmingham, but hopefully I can incorporate a visit to the Library of Birmingham in my trip (so cool how it was on the front page of Wikipedia for so long). Today's loaf is partly made from polenta flour, and is in its second proving so I'll be downstairs soon to bake it. I made a beer bread loaf a couple of weeks ago which was excellent, but having discovered a bottle of beer (ie pale ale) is enough for two loaves, I might try baking double and freezing half next time. Having shared the leftover beer with Dad, I think I prefer beer to wine, though I'm pretty sure I prefer plain orange juice to both.

So happy for Tokyo in winning the 2020 Games, I hope they have as amazing a time as hosts as we did. Already there's talk of a South African bid for 2024. And I seem to follow more sportspeople on Twitter than space people, but it's awesome cos most of them are Team GB people or British sports associations, and it's great that sport never goes away - each weekend is the start, or the final, of a world-class event.

I saw some online TV coverage of the official meeting & greeting of the next Soyuz crew earlier, they launch in just over a week's time. I hope when it's Tim Peake's turn the BBC provide full coverage. It's an opportunity they cannot miss.

That Was It

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 12:38 pm
tourmaline: (London 2012)
So our wonderful summer of sport is now complete - and as it began with Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France win, it ended with Andy Murray's US Open win, and in between the awesome Olympics and Paralympics.

I had a major sad on Sunday at not having been a GamesMaker, despite being told I reached the required standard and despite it being my dream since I was 11 to work at a home Olympics (there was a behind-the-scenes feature during coverage of the Los Angeles Olympics about people working at the athletes' village). Even now, while I'm not sad that the Games have ended - they were always going to end, obviously, and I wanted to be able to look back and say 'we did it, and it was awesome' - I'm sad I couldn't be involved more. Driving to Sainsburys yesterday, I noticed they'd removed the banners on the main roads going into town with all the Olympics symbols on. But I'm not accepting that summer is over just yet, as I still haven't worn my maxi dresses anywhere. I have this week off, we might be going out with my sister & my niece this afternoon, then I have two more days to sort something fun. Hopefully I will have something to write up about here by the weekend.
tourmaline: (London 2012)
The Olympics are over and I can't bear that thought :'( After two decades of fantastical dreaming and failed bids, two years of a serious campaign to Back The Bid, the unbelievable thrill of the announcement that the 2012 hosts will be "London" followed the next day by the unbelievable horror of the terrorist attacks in London, the pulling together, the seven years of working towards the Games, then sixteen days of magic. I'm so glad the Paralympics happen in a few week's time, that London 2012 isn't over, it's really only half-way through. And while I'm sad that I never got to be a GamesMaker (my dream job, ever since I was 11 and watched the Los Angeles Olympics) I'm so glad I got to go to the Olympics twice - for the opening ceremony rehearsal and the weightlifting, two different venues including the Olympic stadium. And I have a huge stash of souvenirs, including 12 T-shirts (the oldest bought 2 years ago), pins, stationery, and supporters scarves. It would be nice to think that things won't quite go back to the normal we had before, that this has changed things, especially when there was almost constant doom-mongering right up until a week ago that it would be dreadful, or the transport system would fail, or Team GB wouldn't do well (Ha! But whether we'll reach the heights of 29 golds again is another question). I'm so glad it was so wonderful.
tourmaline: (London 2012)
The Women's Modern Pentathlon has just finished, with Team GB winning silver - so we've medaled at every Women's Modern Pentathlon since it became an Olympic sport in 2000 - giving Team GB one gold and two silvers on the final day, with two medals in the men's boxing. A total of 65 medals, 29 of them gold, a comfortable third on the medal table which even winning all the sparkly events meant Russia couldn't catch us.

The Closing Ceremony starts in just over an hour's time if you're in the stadium, or two-and-a-half hour's time if you're watching on TV. I don't want to look back too hard on the Olympics until they're well and truly over, but I'm so thrilled and proud at how fabulous it's all been. Really, it's been awesome beyond anything I could imagine before they started. We've got a bit of a break after they finish, then on 29 August the Paralympics starts.

Trying To Keep Up

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 06:39 pm
tourmaline: (London 2012)
Well it seems Team GB can't stop winning medals, we're now up to 22. Instead of writing up summaries here I'm adding pics of all medallists to my Tumblr -

It hasn't all gone our way, of course - there have been a few where Team GB had been favourites and either not quite got there, or missed by a mile. It's been a bit sad too that Australia haven't had the Olympics they usually do, they've just got a third gold with Anna Meares beating Victoria Pendleton.

I'm thinking of writing up a summary at the end for DW/LJ. But it's been so nice to have a few experiences of hearing vast crowds sing along with the national anthem during the medal ceremonies, I remember when Cathy Freeman won gold in Sydney and everyone sang Advance Australia Fair so loudly & proudly, I wondered if that would ever happen in Britain.
tourmaline: (London 2012)
Yesterday [personal profile] vicodin_martini and I went to the Olympics - more precisely, the women's 75kg weightlifting at the Excel centre. It was a great day out, everything was well-organised and the weather and transport were good.

Full story )

I eventually arrived home around 8.30ish and jumped in the shower, even when it's not hot & humid outside the LU isn't a comfortable place to be in summer. I followed the shower with a bit of a food fest as I realised I hadn't eaten much during the day, and caught up with the Olympics news I'd missed. It had been a long day, but a great day, and it was so nice to meet another LJ friend for real - thank you [personal profile] vicodin_martini for your company ♥♥

Doing Good So Far

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 07:52 pm
tourmaline: (London 2012)
This was supposed to be a post about all the medals we've won so far, now that we've won yet another gold medal today. But absolutely nobody has a list anywhere with dates, events, etc on so to make the post I want, I'd have to write an essay's worth of notes. This is completely unacceptable, the BBC may be good at providing online TV for these games but their written word coverage is very poor. There's no excuse for this, they've done well in the past, but now it seems absolutely nobody is interested in the written word or in filing things efficiently. Perhaps I'll post about our medals after Christmas when I get my London 2012 annual.
tourmaline: (London 2012)
Now that we've got the opening ceremony behind us, I can share some of my photos from the rehearsal. I wish I'd have twigged it was Kenneth Branagh at the rehearsal though, but he did have his had down low over his head and he wasn't always facing the cameras, so I just thought "He's very good, isn't he? Do I know him from somewhere?" Lol.

Anyway, hope you enjoy a few pics:

Rehearsal photos )

It was such a stunning show, and I loved how, having seen such a spectacular show at the rehearsal, there was still so much they'd kept back or merely hinted at. Not sitting near the orchestra I didn't know about the Mr Bean joke, although we did see Rowan Atkinson onscreen at the end so I worked out that something of the kind must've happened. And the James Bond helicopter just hovered into place over the stadium, with the music playing. And it was fun to see the Queen in the James Bond sketch, right up until she turned round I thought they'd use an actress, not the real Queen.

I always love the parade of athletes, wonderful to see the less-often-seen national costumes, the more unusual formal suitwear - loved Czech Republic's wellies, obviously they'd paid attention to the recent British weather, & a few other teams were carrying umbrellas. Great also to see how excited everyone is to be here ♥ And so fabulous when Team GB finally walked into the stadium. The flame was amazing too, a fabulous idea to have something from all the countries come together and the flame being lit by future star athletes.

And now the action is well underway, so far I've watched snippets of football, cycling, gymnastics, equestrianism, swimming, tennis, and now volleyball. It's thrilling to see all the fantastic venues with the Olympic rings and London 2012 everywhere. After so many years (decades) of dreaming, it's happening and it's real.

For The Win

Friday, July 27th, 2012 04:40 pm
tourmaline: (London 2012)
Seven years ago, when London was awarded the 2012 Olympics, we all had cake at work to celebrate. Today, we had a staff lunch and Olympics quiz to celebrate the opening of the 2012 Olympics.

The quiz was organised by our Events team, with teams named after past and present Olympians and team members assigned by a draw. I was in Team Jessica (named after Jessica Ennis), my fellow teammembers nominated me as captain. And we won! It's always assumed that I know everything about the Olympics - which is not true at all, I do know lots but there were more than a few questions I got wrong. But we did get lots right, and we did do OK in some of the Wii 100m rounds thanks to a teammate who gave some expert training advice. I also found out that this teammate's brother-in-law is a member of the wheelchair rugby team, & he was at the Paralympics closing ceremony in Beijing.

For winning, we were all awarded a Cadburys gold medal, and a little gift - mine was Olympics socks, others won giant pens with Union Jacks on them. We were all given the afternoon off (except the IT company who are spending the afternoon fiddling with the servers) so I made a stop at Sainsburys for pizza, J2O, and more Olympics souvenirs - a mug, more Cadburys, and two more Lego minifigures. I now have two tennis players (the Murray brothers), a 21st century Robin Hood, and a medallion man in his underpants in minifigures. I'm thinking after the Olympics I might give them to my sister so she can put them away for when my niece is old enough for minifigures.

Additionally, late last night I was retweeted by John Prescott! He was having one of his usual hashtag-linked twitterfests, this time at the expense of Mitt Romney. Romney is in the UK and will be attending the Opening Ceremony, which made me laugh having seen the content - specifically, something pertaining to the NHS & real nurses, as the news coverage has termed it so as not to give away spoilers. You can see the twitter conversation here, it's also by far the most retweets I've had. I feel like I've had a micro-second of being twitter-famous.

And, I repeat - the Opening Ceremony tonight - do not miss it. It will be absolutely stunning. It's so wonderful to see the coverage so far of the Olympics, and how upbeat almost everyone is, so glad the athletes are loving the Olympic Village and overseas visitors are having a good time. I hope the next sixteen days go well.

Up To Eleven

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 06:49 pm
tourmaline: (London 2012)
I was at the rehearsal for the Olympics opening ceremony last night. Despite problems with the transport, it was an amazing evening.

Words and pictures, but definitely no spoilers )

I caught the train back home this morning, and was in work this afternoon where I resolutely refused to give away any details despite questioning coming from all directions.

Wait till Friday. Watch. I promise it'll be amazing.

Thirty Days

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 06:55 pm
tourmaline: (olympics)
It's only 30 days to the Olympics. That's 30 days until the opening ceremony on the Friday evening, the early rounds of the football start in 28 days.

WHOA. It's getting exciting and bizarre and unreal and all-too-real. Because I'm so close to one of the football venues I might have to look into travel timings & so on, I mean when there were hordes of people going to the stadium for concerts it was a pain but it was manageable, I'm hoping it won't be majorly worse than that. I want to be excited about it all.

The latest excitement is that I have claimed my ticket to attend the tech rehearsal of the opening ceremony on the Monday before the Olympics begins! I got this because I applied to be a GamesMaker (ie a volunteer) but I'm on a waitlist, so this is in thanks for applying and sorry we haven't been able to find you a GamesMaker spot yet. It's just for me and I've no idea how good a seat I'll get, plus it will entail spending more money on train tickets and a hotel room for the night, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I hope it all works out OK.

It's so strange to think it's getting so close. It seemed that all through my teenage years the UK was bidding to host the Olympics, and it was becoming a bit of a joke that we kept bidding and never got anywhere. And then we did win, I can still remember the feeling when London was announced as the host. I really hope all goes well and that in time we will have a fabulous Games to look back on.


Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 02:10 pm
tourmaline: (olympics)
It's only just-after-lunch on Day 3, but it's been three days of awesome significance and mixed emotions.

Compartmentalisation required )

So back home, I have a week off work to come so YAY. And Bean is here today, she's so happy, when she smiles she looks like my sister and I did when we were small. And I also have jellybeans so more yay.

I Have.....

Thursday, June 9th, 2011 07:54 pm
tourmaline: (olympics)
I have finished my maths for this evening, this chapter divides itself into three parts and I've now finished the first. I'll do the second tomorrow or Saturday, then the third next week, as per the schedule.

I have seven crackers to eat (it was eight, but one broke in half when I was buttering it so it got eaten in the kitchen). So that's two with butter, three with St Giles cheese, and two with Tiptree Little Scarlet strawberry preserve.

I have an interview to be an Olympics Gamesmaker! I applied for a voluteer post doing something at my local stadium, which is hosting football. Next month I have to attend an interview and selection day at the University to work in the events team, ie meeting & greeting people, stewarding people about etc. After all this waiting it seems so strange to think it's finally real.


Saturday, September 25th, 2010 04:59 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
Day 268 I've had this jacket for a couple of years, but this last week I've started wearing it regularly, I figured I'd never get to enjoy it otherwise.


I bought it a few days before I met the astronauts in September 2008 (along with a new bag and new boots) cos I figured I would need to look cool or smart or whatever. I've hardly worn it since then, but my usual light summer jacket is rather worn so I got it out of the wardrobe. It's more heavyweight than the summer jacket so I couldn't really wear it during my week off as it was too warm, but it's been just right for this past week. Also note this is the only time you'll see it buttoned up, not sure if it buttons up properly around my stomach but there's no hope of it (barring a nasty accident) ever buttoning up across my chest.

And I have completed my application form to be an Olympics volunteer! I'm about 20 minutes walk from one of the non-London venues, so I hope I'll be able to work locally. I've wanted to work at the Olympics since I saw the LA Games in 1984 as an 11-year-old and they had a little feature on Olympic Grandstand about the food and the volunteers working at the food court. I've put about my writing & editing and knowledge management skills, basically my day job, so will have to wait and see what they want. Time off work shouldn't be an issue, in fact I think it's expected that I will be there as I'm known for my love of the Olympics at work.


Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 05:21 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
Day 257 I bought this T-shirt yesterday and am wearing it today:

Only 2012 Made

This is number 1655 out of a limited edition of 2012 according to the label. It's got quite a scoopneck, which today meant I got lots of little fingernail scratches - we've been babysitting Little Bean for a few hours this afternoon. I gave her a bottle and changed her nappy (which she hates) and she was very good, she likes looking at the pictures on the wall and the animals on TV. She's not quite smiling properly yet because she's too young (she's 4 weeks old now) but you can tell she's doing the nearest she can manage cos her eyes (soft steel-grey eyes) brighten and she makes happy noises. And now she's got Tigger bodysuits which I saw yesterday in Tescos and couldn't resist.