Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Watching History Being Made

View from my suite seats during the 2012 Olympic Men’s Gymnastic Team Finals
Kayla Hanley
London, England 
Who would have thought that on a cloudy, and rainy Monday I would walk with royalty, watch like celebrities, and see history being made all within 3 hours. Being at the Men’s Gymnastic Team Finals on July 30 allowed me to do all of this and made me experience the Olympic spirit first hand in a venue covered in pink.
China won gold, Japan won silver, and Great Britain won bronze causing the crowd to arise in chaos. Great Britain medalled for the first time in the past 100 years for the team finals within the summer Olympics. Originally they were placed in silver followed by Ukraine but due to a Japanese appeal they were awarded bronze. No matter what the place was every fan in the crowd was on their feet showing their support.
Seeing the reactions to the entire crowd was really indescribable. Flags from USA, Great Britain, China, Ukraine, France and many others were flying all throughout the arena in every corner around the stage. As I was looking down at some of the fans from my suite seat I could see fans with tears in their eyes knowing that their nation had just accomplished the task of medalling which is the goal for every athlete here in London.
I had chills and goosebumps the whole time that I was watching the athletes compete at a different apparatus because I couldn’t believe that I was actually at an Olympic event in person. This was an event that I have been watching from home at every Olympic competition since the age of 8 and not only was I a fan but a journalist which was more than I could ever dream of.
Everyone seems to know the importance of the Olympic games when they watch each event on their televisions at home. I thought that I knew the significance and that feeling of pride when watching the athletes walk to the podium yet being there to experience and first hand see their reactions really was priceless. More often than not when one watches the games from their televisions at home they do not get to see the reactions from the audience and to me that was one of the highlights of this event.

China-Gold Japan-Silver Great Britain-Bronze
Not only were the residents of London and those visiting the city supporting the men, but also Prince Harry and Prince William were in attendance. I could see them from my seat and they were directly in front of me and they were on their feet cheering and standing the whole time. I am not sure whether or not they were there the whole time but they were there to see their home country take the bronze medal which really was a great accomplishment for the entire country.
As I am writing this and looking back at being in North Greenwich Arena for this team finals around I am still in shock and awe at experiencing something that will be talked about for a very long time. Being from America it is unfortunate that USA only placed 5th but seeing the strength and drive that Great Britain had, as well as China and Japan, they deserved their places. History has finally been in the making here at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and I am proud to say that I am a part of it.

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