Yesterday I moseyed around the Olympic Park and attended a couple of water polo matches as a guest of British Airways – another perk to being included in its Home Advantage Influencer Programme (see my post about visiting BA’s Waterside HQ here). The folks representing BA were so accommodating and actually seemed to genuinely appreciate me taking advantage of their hospitality (I was like ‘no way, thank you!’)
It was my second visit to the park and presented another super fun chance to take way too many photos. Tourists and sports enthusiasts of all ages from around the globe beaming with national pride and more than keen to have their picture taken … the world’s largest McDonald’s .. Anish Kapoor’s Orbit Tower … the modern shopping mall cum world bazaar buzz at Westfield … the soldiers providing security or otherwise milling about in their free time … the news teams swarming … the kids … the sometimes too gleeful volunteers … it was almost too much to take it but amazing to experience nonetheless.
The invitation yielded an excellent opportunity to check out the Olympic Hospitality Centre as well. I had a very nice lunch (would go back just for the cheeseboard honestly) and a couple of drinks in the very swish British Airways Lounge. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of plopping down in a BA lounge at an airport, think along those lines (but maybe even just a little bit more luxurious and inviting). It was a great place to chill out, watch some Olympic events on the multiple and enormous flat screen TVs (with amazing audio) and, of course, be pampered in first class style.
And what about the water polo? Really engaging stuff!. The Italy v Greece match, which ended in a draw, was especially fast paced and showed just how athletic and aggressive this sport can be. And with a bunch of Greeks and Italians in the filled stands of the Water Polo Arena (a temporary structure with an inflatable roof to be broken down and shipped to Rio for the 2016 Games), it would be an understatement to say the atmosphere was anything less than enthusiastic.
I knew I’d get a kick out of the Olympics coming to town, but I had no idea I would have such an awesome time experiencing the event firsthand and watching it unfold before my somewhat bewildered eyes. This is mind boggling spectacle to the very max. The good, the bad, the WTF all right here right now. Wow.