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Posts from the ‘Olympics’ Category

Charlton Athletic 1 Northampton Town 1

I took my protest to Rio and tuned out of the happenings at The Valley and instead tuned into scantily clad women slapping a ball over a net on sand in the name of Olympic sport.

However my always relied upon Mother was updating me during the game and my brother gave me a full blown text report after, but it was fair to say you would all have rather been in my seat at the Copacabana Beach Volleyball Arena. You would also have been surrounded by more people!

Anyway these are my observations. The Canadian girl’s bikini bottom was a shade of red and white. Oh hang on, wrong blog post! Apologies.
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Rio 2016 – Day 3 Gymnastics 

I’m not sure jumping up and down on a trampoline is the most artistic of all gymnastic events but it is a pretty serene sight seeing lithe women fly through the air, throwing all kinds of shapes at high altitude before bouncing back up again like an astronaut in a space station. 

We were at the Rio Olympic Arena today for a little gymnastics action and I wouldn’t say I learnt anything apart from falling out of the trampoline badly affects your score. Otherwise the scoring, and at least the docking of points for defections was hard to fathom, but it was enjoyable nevertheless and excitedly we got to see Great Britain pick up a medal.
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Rio 2016 – Day 2 Tennis

We are staying in Barra da Tijuca and purposely picked an apartment close to the new BRT station, Jardim Oceanico. And today for our first day of Olympic action we made our way a couple of minutes around the corner to the station so new that the  paint was wet, and the whole journey was easy. 20 minutes most on a brand spanking new bus that floated past traffic in an express lane to get us to Barra’s Parque Olimpico, home to nine different venues including the Tennis Centre, built brand new for the Olympics with an impressive centre court and 15 outside courts, which I would hazard a guess we’re temporary structures.

Barra Olympic Park was previously a Formula One race track and was home to the Brazilian Grand Prix. It was demolished in 2012 to make way for one of the key Rio 2016 centres and will, hopefully, leave the largest sporting legacy to the country once the Olympics has packed it’s rings and moved the circus on.
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Rio 2016 – Day 1 First impressions 

We landed in Rio this morning and my first thoughts were as to whether I had brought enough warm and water proof clothes. It has pretty much drizzled the entire day and fog has shrouded the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that looks down over the XXXI Olympic city and dark skies have hung over us all day.

The airport, vastly improved by all accounts, was impressive. Clean, efficient and organized with hundreds of Rio 2016 volunteers and camera crews everywhere, it gave us a real sense of occasion when we got off the plane this morning, agreeably still in the same time zone as Bermuda. There is a lot to be said for doing an 9-hour overnight flight but not sending your body clock into a spin.
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Miami’s Stiltsville

We are using Miami as a staging point for our onward journey to Rio, where we fly to late on Tuesday night for the Olympics. I am a big Miami fan and know the city and it’s assorted environs pretty well. Today however we saw Miami from a different vantage point. From the water.  

We booked a morning boat tour with Ocean Force Adventures, and a 30 ft rigid inflatable boat, or RIB, with our own captain, who doubled as a very knowledgable guide. He took us on a two and half hour tour of Miami’s waters getting up close to the celebrity mansions of Star Island, Palm Island and Fisher Island, the enormous Port of Miami and busy cruise ship terminal (1 in every 7 passenger cruise ships in the world departs from here), Key Biscayne, Biscayne National Park, Cape Florida Lighthouse, the historic Miami River and some mouthwatering views of the downtown Miami, Brickell and South Beach skylines. 
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Rio Olympics

After my London Olympic ticket woe, four years later I was both better prepared and luckier in the quest for event tickets at this summer’s Rio Olympics. Attending an Olympics has sat idle on my bucket list for some time but after the disappointment of not being able to attend London’s momentous occasion, we will be heading down to Rio in a few weeks time to see seven different sports over a ten day period. Surreptitiously it also coincides with my big birthday month, and therefore I was determined to make it happen.

Better research and lessons learnt told me that as a EU citizen I was able to apply for tickets from Authorized Ticket Resellers (ATR) of any European Union member. So I busily searched all over various countries websites and that widened our odds. Brexit will put an end to anyone trying to do that for Tokyo 2020.
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Bermuda invitational race meet

We always try to grab the chance to watch a live event here in Bermuda, especially if it has ‘International’ in it’s description. On Friday night we were at the island’s national stadium to watch the first Bermuda Invitatiomal Permit Atheltics Meet.

Athletes came from the USA, the Caribbean, Great Britain and Africa, and were joined by Bermuda’s best sprinters, hurdlers and middle distance runners. There was also a competitive line up for the men’s long jump and women’s high jump.
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Olympic disadvantage

There has been a lot of recent conjecture about season ticket renewals amongst Addicks. Since the return to The Valley the club has done an excellent job of marketing and pricing season tickets just right in encouraging supporters to commit up front to home games. Much of this loyalty and not insignificant financial undertaking has been due to the bond between fan and board, a bond that no longer exists. Ironically this is all against the backdrop of the best supporter bond between manager and player for many a year.

Last week a couple of news stories made me concerned about the future of our fan base. West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium was confirmed at significant cost to the local council and the taxpayer and not an awful lot to the club. For example I’d be surprised if the £2m a year in rent even covers the maintenance. Plus the sale of Upton Park will more than pay for the Hammers’ outlay of £15m. Gold and Sullivan are not at silly as they look.
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2012 Top 5 Sporting Moments

Putting the mighty Addicks to one side for the moment, other than the League One title winners, 2012 was a sensational year for sport. There were many screaming at the telly, jumping up and down moments but here were my Top 5 Favourite Sporting Moments of 2012:
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The final day then of London 2012, an end to an historic and extraordinary 6 weeks. If in a year or two’s time the Olympic Stadium is hosting football, it will be such a shame.

During my very swift weekend visit back to the UK I found myself in Gatwick, Nottingham, Eastbourne and Chislehurst but what I couldn’t be drawn away from was the London Paralympics.

The gripes about the adverts aside, although trust me after watching US telly for 10 years, the UK’s commercial stations are a lot less disruptive, from what I saw Channel 4 were doing a sterling job of showcasing the most watched Paralympics ever.
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I’ll hold my hands up. I have been a right old misery guts when it has come to the London Olympics and my mood has switched from damn right disappointment to indignation.

Those early days with half empty stadiums royally pissed me off as I had spent so many hours trying to navigate LOCOG’s cumbersome and ludicrous ticketing policy yet came away empty handed. We planned to spend these couple of weeks in London fully immersing ourselves in the ‘greatest show on earth,’ yet after failing miserably to get any tickets, I stuck two fingers up at my home town (we have a flat in Stratford too) and knowing the television coverage in Bermuda would be shocking, we took ourselves off to Chicago first and now we are in Costa Rica, which incidentally, is beautiful.

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Olympic woe

A hop, skip and jump back to London tonight. This trip was originally planned for a couple of weeks with family to get ourselves fully absorbed into the Olympics. Not so.

Copious (more than three) attempts to purchase a range of tickets for a range of sports over a few week period ended up with zilch. No, I lie, I did get some Women’s Preliminary Round (non beach) Volleyball tickets for Earls Court. No disrespect to Earls Court but all of us slogging across London to watch Algeria v Japan just didn’t do it for me, so those tickets went back.

Thus I came incredibly frustrated with the whole Olympic ticket process and called it off as a bad job especially after a couple of very early mornings/late nights tapping away on the computer with millions of others. Don’t get me started on the 250,000 tickets unsold, including athletics, opening and closing ceremonies. LOCOG couldn’t have got the ticketing procedure more wrong. 
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