Working closely with so many athletes ahead of London 2012, our build up to the Olympics was a long, exciting, but sometimes frustrating one – not least the disappointment of Jenny Meadows not making Team GB.
Over the next few days our healthcare team will give their unique perspective on the Games – as physios; fans at the park; and a Glasgow Commonwealth Games cyclist in-training.
Tracey Matthews – Physiotherapist Altrincham Clinic
Tracey is a Commonwealth Gold and Silver Medalist Rower and works as a massage therapist for the GB Rowing and Paralympic Cycling Teams. She helped 2 of Team GB’s track athletes prepare for the London Olympics.
Like most of the country, when the ticket lottery opened, I applied for Olympic Stadium and Velodrome tickets. Sadly, like many others, I was disappointed, but in the end, it hardly mattered as there were so many history-making moments throughout the Olympic Park and beyond.
I have to admit after all the news reports, I was initially sceptical about how the capital would cope with all the extra people and traffic, but I have to say, I didn’t come across anything of the sort, the venues had no long queues and there were no stampedes as gates opened. As for the volunteers, they were absolutely wonderful and they always had smiles on their faces. When you talked to them, they came from miles around and had boundless amounts of energy and enthusiasm, which really made for a great atmosphere. Amazing really considering they didn’t get paid a penny and were placed in areas like the toilets or car parks, so probably didn’t see any of the events!
My favourite part was obviously the rowing at Eton’s Dorney Lake and watching Katherine Grainger finally win Gold. Katherine was once a fellow competitor and that made it even more special for me.But what really made the Games for me was the unexpected Gold medals: the long jumper Rutherford; Murray; the women’s lightweight double, they all put in amazing performances, which were definitely willed- and screamed- along by the crowds.
The Olympic Park itself was outstanding, with the crowds decked out in Red, White and Blue. It was very emotional and gave me a huge sense of unity – Great Britain really did come out in force to support all their athletes.
Paul Butler – Physiotherapist and Sports Massage, Wilmslow Clinic
After an epic 2 weeks its time to reflect back on the sights & sounds of the London Olympics as a New Zealander!
Camping on Box Hill taking in the pelotons at full noise with thousands of cycling fans was a major hit, the vocal GB supporters almost pushed Wiggo & the lads to catch a fast paced break away – but ultimately to no avail with the Kazakhstan rider taking gold. Being a Kiwi I was pleased with a top 10 place for Jack Bauer, but maybe not as pleased as Lizzie Armistead fans on the soaked Sunday race. Great action with animated fans (particularly the British and Dutch) and some tense edgy racing.
Highlight of the weekend for me was riding the closed off circuit prior to the race start!
Come Tuesday and the 63kg womens’ weightlifting Final proved the power to weight ratio was reaching the limits with a nasty forearm fracture for one athlete, plus an Olympic record and Gold medal for Kazakhstan again. I won’t mention who was below this Nation on the medal table by day 4 of the 30th Olympiad!Down to the volleyball womens’ bronze medal match between big hitters Japan & surprise Final 4 group South Korea. Incredibly dynamic defence shone through in this play-off with Japan taking early leads, Korea clawing back, Japan choking in their efforts to put it away before their bigger game finally wore down the opposition for a straight set victory.This was a great experience to attend and be part of the crowds, different to working on elite athletes and quite a nice moment to sit back & watch them go about their business for once.
Personal highlights were that front group in the mens’ 10,000m final & Rudisha’s World Record.