Olympic experiences: What did you see?

Numerous students and faculty members were lucky enough to enjoy the Olympics in their backyard. CULTURES EDITOR SHAHID MAHDI asked a few which memories will linger in their minds the longest…

Aquatics Centre
Hearing the crowds roar as my heroes Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin and Alicia Coutts came out from the locker rooms was simply amazing. Being a swimmer myself, I was ecstatic to be attending a variety of Olympic swimming events and was even more excited to see some of the greatest swimmers in the world compete in my events.

Michael Lee (‘13)
Men’s Basketball
02 Arena

I saw the men’s quarter and semi-finals at the O2. it was inspiring watching Argentina take on the machine that is the U.S. basketball team. I’ll always remember the look of exhaustion of Luis Scola’s face after losing such a hard-fought game.

BIANCA JONES, Athletics Office
Venue Organizer, LOCOG

The opportunity rose as I had participated in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics as a volunteer, and I had reunited with some of my colleagues in London back when I moved here. I had a 12-15 hour work day, every day, for six weeks, and was given an all-access pass to the Olympic Park. Our jobs were to make sure everything went smoothly and was communicated clearly [to the public]. My highlight of the Games was definitely watching Oscar Pistorius win the 400m final. I was also able to take pictures with the Canada team!

Penthathlon (equestrian)
Greenwich Park

This stage of the modern pentathlon is very intense.. It was nerve-wracking to anticipate which jumpers would make it over, that too in complete silence. You would find yourself getting attached to certain riders, silently cheering for them. People would be jumping on horses they had never ridden before and competing on them.

Michael Carpenter (‘14)
Olympic Stadium

I remember very clearly the tense excitement that could be felt steadily mounting as each lap ended- signalling the beginning of yet another gruelling 400 meters. Would Mo Farah win Britain their third gold of the evening? Thanks to Ennis and Rutherford’s victories, the atmosphere was already charged, and a victory from Mo Farah would bring the house down. However, none of that mattered to me. During the race, my focus never deviated from my cousin, Galen Rupp. Every time he passed us in the bleachers I cheered with all I could muster. I knew that he had it in him to medal. I knew that his parents (my aunt and uncle) knew. And of course, he knew too. The stage was set, and thanks to Farah (Galen’s training partner), Galen had someone whom he could constantly aim to best. More than anything, though, I just wanted all the effort he put into training to finally pay off. Galen not only ran the race, but ran it like a true champion. A medal well deserved.

Abbie Dillon (‘16)
Diving, Aquatics Centre

It really was an inspiring and thrilling experience that I feel so privileged to have attended. It was really well organized…I thoroughly enjoyed all the events I saw. Seeing so many fans from so many nations was awesome.

Nabil Mahmud (‘13)
Women’s Beach Volleyball
Horse Guard’s Parade
I saw the U.S. take on China in the semi-finals. The organisation of it all was great. Besides the event itself, the official dance team and the MCs did their best to make it a lively party. Plus, it was a 5 minute walk from my house – I’ve never been so close to an Olympic venue, and I doubt I ever will be in the future. An all-round great time.