A day at #London2012 – 4th August 2012
Today, after watching the Olympics on the television for the last week, it was finally time for us to enjoy a day of Olympic action ourselves as we went up to Wembley to see one of the football quarter-finals.
When we put in for Olympic tickets many months ago we weren’t sure who we would be watching. There was a possibility that we could have seen Team GB playing, but as it turned out it was Mexico against Senegal.
With kick-off not until 2.30pm, we dropped Emily off with Sarah’s parents and left home by around 10am for the short walk to the station. As Olympic restrictions prevented transport of large umbrellas, we opted for coats instead and set off in light rain for the short walk to the station. We hadn’t walked more than a couple of hundred yards before the light rain turned into some kind of monsoon. We were drenched in seconds and briefly considered turning back home before continuing on to the station.
We joined various other soaking people who were all waiting for the 10.17 to Paddington and shoehorned ourselves onto one of the three coaches, once the train finally arrived.
The journey to London was marked with more heavy rain en route.
Once we arrived at Paddington, we joined the Bakerloo line to make the relatively short journey to Wembley Central. The train was virtually empty and we soon discovered, to our surprise, that it terminated at Queen’s Park, leaving us to make the rest of the way to Wembley on an Overground train.
Our arrival at Wembley Central was again marked with more heavy rain causing a minor jam in the foyer as those nearest the door waited inside. We took the opportunity to eat a quick sandwich while we waited for the shower to pass.
With a twenty-minute walk ahead of us, we followed one of the Olympic Games Maker’s advice and caught a bus instead.
There were huge crowds outside the stadium and we spent some time walking around the outside in order to reach our allotted entrance.
Before we went in, we stopped to buy a couple of mementos for the girls.
Fortunately our actual entry proved relatively painless and we rapidly ascended three escalators up to reach the main level inside.
I’m not a huge fan of heights and found our lofty seats something of a challenge to be endured, rather than enjoyed.
It was my first visit to Wembley since watching Reading lose to Bolton Wanderers in the 1995 play-off final and overall, the new Wembley was very impressive.
We had some time to wait before the match started and the girls enjoyed savouring the atmosphere and watching the teams warming up on the pitch.
The match, when it finally got underway, was well worth the wait. Mexico opened the scoring after just 9 minutes, courtesy of some poor defending from Senegal.
They continued to dominate and scored a second goal after 62 minutes. It seemed that there would only be one winner until Senegal pulled a goal back on 68 minutes and then equalised with just fifteen minutes remaining, triggering an enthralling end to the second half.
Extra time beckoned and with it came two more goals from Mexico to seal the match and their place in the semi-final.
It was a great match to watch and we found ourselves swept along by the exiting crowd, many of whom were heading towards Wembley Central station.
On the way, we stopped at McDonalds, before joining those queuing to get into Wembley Central. We joined the Bakerloo line and returned to Paddington, before catching a waiting train back to Maidenhead.
Finally back home, we had the chance to enjoy an amazing evening of athletics where Team GB secured gold medals in the heptathlon, long-jump and 10,000 metres.
It was all a fitting end to a golden day of sport, a day in which Team GB won an amazing SIX gold medals in one day.
Because of Wembley’s ban on SLR cameras, all of the photos on here were taken on my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20
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