Sunday, 12 August 2012

My final #Olympics post: regret

A few short weeks ago, I wrote about the Olympic Games - I described how I believed that London 2012 would be a great event, and a very momentous occasion for Great Britain, and I expressed my hopes that the cynics and the grumblers would give it a rest for the next couple of weeks.

And I was right - the Games have been a triumph, and (for the most part, at least) the resentment and the scoffing has turned into genuine admiration and praise for these very special two weeks.  The International Olympic Committee has heaped praise upon LOCOG, the city of London, and the people of Great Britain as a whole.  If I'm honest, I'm very sad that, by the end of today, it's all going to be over.

But what makes me saddest, is that I never got to be a part of it all.

I have loved watching the Olympics on television.  The BBC Olympics coverage has been second-to-none, and they have received many (richly-deserved) accolades for the quality of broadcasting.  I have been amazed and delighted by the success of Team GB - such an enormous haul of Medals at a home Games, and third place in the Medals Table, is quite astonishing, and an extraordinary achievement which is testimony in itself to the quality of the sportsmen and women we, as a nation, have produced.  (Not to mention our "behind the scenes" teams of coaches, trainers, nutritionists, organisers, promoters, and so on.)  I am proud of every single one of them.

But this all combines to make this particular Olympic Games (the Games of the 30th Olympiad) all the more unique - and this, in turn, makes me even sadder not to have been involved at all.

It quickly became apparent that the 2012 Olympic Games would be the defining event of this generation.  It is something which will be talked about, for years to come.  It is something which people will look back on, and remember fondly.  My memories of it will mainly involve sitting on a variety of sofas, watching a variety of television screens.  When people ask in the future "what did you do at London 2012?" or "what events did you go to at London 2012?" I will have nothing to say.

Not through a lack of trying.  Initially, I applied to be a Games Maker (one of the volunteers who did all the jobs which a huge undertaking such as the Olympics requires) and, although I got invited to the interview procedure in London, and made it through that, I never actually got offered a volunteer rĂ´le.

After that, I tried, multiple times, to apply for tickets, so that I could at least go to an event, see the Games in action, and soak up the atmosphere.  But I never quite managed to find anything - all the tickets were snapped up within seconds of their being posted online, and the London 2012 Ticketing website was set out in a confusing and convoluted way.

There will be other Olympics.  Of course there will - the Games will be in Rio in 2016, as we know, and after that, goodness knows where else!  And there will be other big sporting events happening in Britain.  (The BBC presenters have often alluded to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 during the coverage of the London Olympics.)  But that isn't the same, is it?  I'm sure that going to Glasgow or Rio would be fantastic - as would many, many other things - but London 2012 is gone, and that special, unique feeling of having something so wonderfully all-encompassing as the Olympic Games here in Great Britain is unlikely to come around again for a long, long time.

I honestly feel like I have missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience - and, much as I have enjoyed every moment of the Olympics, I will always regret that I never truly got to be a part of it.

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