Monday, August 13, 2012

Fabulous fans

The Games are over, sniff sniff! That's all folks, I hope you had fun reading this. (Both of you.) The topic I saved for last is probably my favourite part of every Olympics. Colourful, creative, passionate, loud, friendly - the supporters! Here's my (very subjective) top 20:

20. Speechlessness

19. Local patriotism

18. Borat Bros


17. Azerbaijan all over me

16. The Onion fans

15. Underwater handball team

14. Verolandia

13. What are they sinking about?

12. All Browns

11. Newest Ikea ad

10. Scotland down under?

9. The prophet

8. Lovely local

7. Fidelmania

6. Pálinka power

5. Two sushi addicts

4. Op de Koningin

Bronze: allez sacrebleu!

Silver: ring my beeeeeeell, ring my bell!

Gold: walk like an Egiptian a Thailander!

Memories (or: I need a new camera)

I'm still cooling down from the eventful closing day of the Games - starring the incredibly close finals in basketball, handball, and volleyball. Going through the photos and such. Not surprisingly, my friend Josele took all the best ones, despite joining me for only one evening session. And since he's too humble to brag about them, let me show you what comes from a combination of good ideas, a steady hand, and a reflex camera!

Usain Bolt and the Seven Dwarfs:

Olympic Champion Olga Rypakova:

Britain's bronze medal winner (with a Polish grandpa) - Robert Grabarz:

Big splash:

When participation is all that counts:

Olympic Flame:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Walk the walk

Unfortunately, the Olympic Games are ending tonight. I'm back home already, and the last event I got a glimpse of was the race walk yesterday morning. In order to honour the athletes, I walked across the Hyde Park. With amazing not-English-at-all weather, but without any hurry or shaking my hips awkwardly, it was a very nice stroll in preparation for the slightly faster men doing their 50k in front of Buckingham Palace.

Gold and silver:

Bronze and fourth:

Benevolent basketball

It surely wasn't for the lack of trying, but eventually I failed to get a single basketball ticket. However, all disappointed fans have been invited to the NBA House at Covent Garden, where myself and a bunch of 10-year-olds met the Celtics Dancers, Benny the Bull, John Amaechi, Aaron Afflalo, angry Bruce Bowen, and chubby Robert Horry.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Viewy volleyball

Volleyball might be the only sport more exciting, more watchable, and less predictable when played by women. The exchanges last way longer and are more varied, probably due to imperfect sets, spikes from different (as in: mortal) heights, and blocks not covering 90% of the field. Then again, you've only come here to see photos of beautiful female athletes in slender outfits, so who am I to deny you? Without further ado, the semifinal Brazil-Japan (3-0).




Hot handball

Should basketball be declared illegal one day, handball will become my favourite sport! I fell in love with it in Beijing, and enjoyed it even more thoroughly here - despite being able to watch only one game: the semifinal Sweden-Hungary.

The atmosphere was amazing, thanks to a combination of Queen's spirit in the air ("We will rock you" played as build-up, "Under pressure" whenever a penalty was about to be taken, and "We are the champions" at the very end), alternating chants "Sverige Sverige" and "Ria Ria Hungaria", and - last but not least - an amazing game (1 goal difference with 20 seconds to go).

Friday, August 10, 2012

Calming canoe

The last couple of days have been pretty intense, so I very much welcomed a half-day trip to the canoeing track in Eton Dorney, Buckinghamshire. And I brought back my third Polish medal, yay!

Forgive me father, for a jumped the line!

The Polish girls in K2 500m final: third after half the distance, and ultimately third at the finish line, albeit by 0,136s - which is 10cm maybe?

Smiles all around during the medal ceremony!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wicked wrestling

Even though it's one of the very few sports remaining from the ancient Olympic Games, I've never watched wrestling before. What a beautiful sport to experience live, too! A front row view of one 120kg gladiator throwing another over his shoulder has been one of the most powerful images of my Olympic adventure thus far.


Of course due to the most basic laws of physics there is much more action in the lower weight categories. But the schedule is very smart, showing you a number of categories throughout the evening. On day one, I witnessed men's greco-roman style under 60, 84, and 120 kilograms. On day two, it was the ladies' freestyle 48 and 63.

And it's all well if it ends well, so the Polish bronze medallist Damian Janikowski throwing his coach to the mat in jubilation was the cherry on the cake!

The ladies didn't finish that well, but definitely fought bravely on a night dominated by the Japanese. The latter took both gold medals, including the third consecutive Olympic win for Kaori Icho!

If any of you ladies out there feel intimidated in men-dominated jobs, here's some inspiration: