And the winners are….

September 10, 2012

in News

Many thanks to everyone that took part in our recent Olympic Story competition.  After sifting through all of the entries, our panel of judges (!) came up with a short list of two stories and as both seemed to capture something about the London 2012 spirit, we decided that they were both winning entries. 

A big thanks to our winners Jane Keenan of Howell Penny, Berkhamsted and Dr Fiona Russell of UCL, London – a bottle of champagne has been sent to both. 

We hope you enjoy reading these as much as we did…..

My Olympic Experience  – Jane Keenan

I recently saw your request for stories based around the Olympics – with Olympic fever hitting the UK this summer I’m not sure I would ever be lucky enough to win as I’m sure you will be inundated with people sharing their “Gold” medal stories,  but here is mine!

I was lucky enough to obtain a ticket for the opening ceremony for the full technical and dress rehearsal held on Wednesday 26th July, me and 59,999 fellow guests were able to enjoy all the facilities of the park and all the fireworks exclusively!  I felt really honoured to #savethesecret.  Even Danny Boyle was there and spoke to the audience asking us to keep the secret(s) till Friday at least.

I attended the event with my sister Claire and her husband  Robert.  Rob had friends playing drums in the closing ceremony hence the ticket.  When Rob and I get together its generally involves alcohol and the following day thick heads!

We were blown away by the event that unfolded in front of us – 21 rows back from the edge of the track with more people involved than you can ever imagine… it  was awesome! – with all that cheering and screaming going on it was important to keep well hydrated in the form of Heineken larger.  We must have consumed about 3 pints of liquid J and by the time the dancing nurses came out I was desperately crossing my legs – I had to be a) one of those annoying people who you have to get up from your seat to let you out and b) decide which point to make my dash unfortunately, it turned out to be the national  anthem.

In my rush to the washrooms and my confused state of mind – I couldn’t actually remember what block section of seats I was sat in, ticket in bag, bag with sister.  All the entrances to the seats looked the same.  As well as wanting to watch as much of the show as possible I decided to simply sit on the concrete steps and try and enjoy the last part of the show! 

Needless to say – even sat on a concrete step, wondering where my family was amid 59,999 people, it was a truly awesome show and I was proud to have saved the secret for Danny Boyle!

The Olympics didn’t disappoint either and I think we wowed the world!

Here’s keeping my fingers (and in this instance legs) crossed! 

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 My Olympic story – Fiona Russell

I had planned to go and support the men’s road race on the first Saturday of the Olympics and hopefully see Cavendish win Gold. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling too well so resorted to staying home and watching the event unfurl on TV. By evening, I had recovered enough to meet my friends for a BBQ, who had been cheering Wiggo, Cav, Froome and co on at the side of the road. Unfortunately, this hadn’t been enough to help them win a medal but the guys had given it 100%.

My route to the evening bbq involved 3 trains. My brain was still a bit fuzzy so accidentally I departed the train at one stop early, at Streatham, instead of Streatham Common for my 1st change. Cursing myself, I decided that Streatham Common couldn’t possibly be too far away so I guessed that walking there would be quicker than waiting 20 minutes for the next train, and thus would prevent me missing my all important connecting train. Of course, in theory, this would have been true, however, I hadn’t accounted for the fact that I would get seriously lost in the 10 minute walk.

Now, this story would have ended miserably if it hadn’t been for the fact that I bumped into a guy who had clearly been supporting some Olympic action. We started chatting and it turned out he had been at the road race so we started commiserating Cav’s fate. He then said he had some spare tickets for Box hill for the women’s road race the following day. He gave me a look and said he knew a kindred spirit when he saw one and just handed two of the tickets to me. Then he pointed me in the right direction of the station and wished me well.

I finally got to my BBQ and then had a fantastic day the next day, despite the torrential rain, watching Lizzie Armitstead win silver and the 1st medal for Team GB. All thanks to me stupidly getting off at the wrong train station, and the kindness of a complete stranger who truly epitomized the friendliness and generosity of everyone which continued throughout the Olympics.

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We hope you agree that both are great stories and each in their own way encompass part of the amazing spirit demonstrated during London 2012.  Strange though how both stories involve getting lost…once again, a big thank you to Jane, Fiona and everyone that entered.

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