2012 London, XXXth Olympic Summer Games
from 07/27 to 08/12/2012
Day – 2 – 25 July
Well arrived at Heathrow where the passage of the customs was carried out without mishap. It’s with Claude, came to welcome me, that we reach our apartment. After leaving my luggage, we leave immediately to the London Media Center to recover my accreditation. An Oyster card with Olympic colors is offered, which will allow me to circulate probably until the end of the games. Claude will return to register tomorrow. We then go to Stradford where we do some pin trading near the Olympic Village. There are several Athlete Host Ceremonies, even if we do not see anything, we hear perfectly the national anthems. We eat on the spot before taking the metro to return to the apartment to do some supplies at Sainsbury’s, a shopping center nearby.
Day – 1 – 26 July
After a good night, departure to the London Media Center to try to do the accreditation of Claude. Marc H. joins us. Claude will not have his accreditation, at least not today. We leave in direction of Stradford, accompanied by Marc H. Arrived on the spot, direction the small shop Samsung where we recover some pins before continuing towards Stradford Inernational where are the collectors of pins. We find Irina there. We leave to the Westfield shopping center, where we eat a piece. Back downtown, we stop at Trafalgar Square to go to Canada House. We are welcome, but can not enter, it is not yet open to the public. We continue a little further to the house of Monaco, which is not more open to the public. We leave and go to Hyde Park where we discover the pin trading center. We find some collectors there. We stay an hour before going back to the apartment to change us. We have an opening night at Club France tonight. We go to the Club France located on the banks of the Thames in an old fish market. We need to do a tail nearly an hour before entering the club. It’s huge, a special evening is organized live with France 2. Many athletes, retired or still in business succeed at the microphone presenter, such as Marie-Jo Perec Laura Flessel Richard Dacoury Jackson Richardson. We get some goodies. The evening ends and we go.
Day 0 – Opening Ceremony – 27 July
I go to the Russian house for which I obtained a media accreditation. I take the metro to go to Kensigton Gardens, after making a grand tour, passing the Russian embassy, I finally find Russia Park. My name is on the list of media and I enter without problem, the accreditation is not yet issued, the security guard forgets to search my bag! After a short wait, the Sochi Park Opening ceremony begins. A small opening performance followed by the presentation of the President of the Russian Olympic Committee, the Minister of Sport and the President of Sochi 2014. Then many former Russian Olympic medalists come to join the delegation. I join Claude a little later at Hyde Park before leaving with him to welcome Pascal who is waiting for us in Victoria. We reach the apartment taking Marc H. in the passage. We are going to town to try to see the Opening Ceremony on a giant screen at the Swiss house, but too many people. We end up going back to the apartment where we look at the end of the Ceremony on the computer!
Day 1 – 28 July
Claude and Pascal leave for the Olympic Park. I will join them later, I have to go through the Club France to see Marc BOUCHER and eventually Florence Masnada. After Club France, I join Claude and Pascal at the Olympic Park. I take the subway to West Ham, from there it is possible to reach the stadium on foot. I’m looking for the Coca-Cola center pin trading, I see it. I see the guys at a table exposing their pins, I join them and installs myself. At 7 PM, I leave the pin’s trading to join the Aquatic Center nearby. No French runs in the semi-finals or finals offered. I’m a little too far to really enjoy the show. I go back to the apartment where I find the guys.
Day 2 – 29 July
Passage through the house of Monaco where we are very warmly received by Elisabeth Ritter-Moati, venue administrator for the duration of the Games. Prince Albert exhibits his collection of summer torches, this exhibition is open to the public from 10AM to 7PM every day, you can discover the last torch of London 2012 and other much older beautifully highlighted. The Monaco House is located at 18-22 Haymarket, very close to Trafalgar Square, metro Piccadilly Circus. Then we head for the home of Canada, nearby. Also welcomed with open arms, I enjoy a media accreditation allowing us to return. We come out with some extra pins in our pockets. Then we go to the Olympic Park, not without a quick stop at the Samsung booth to get some pins. After a light lunch, we go to the park to join Pascal already installed. Claude takes his round, while I took the opportunity to explore the rest of the park that I have not had time to do before. At the end of the visit, the rain begins to fall, I accelerate to shelter and reintegrate trading pins where I settle at my table. A little later, NBC TV Los Angeles arrives to film us followed by Reuters. It starts to rain again, I wait for the lull before returning to the apartment.
Day 3 – 30 July
We go to Olympic Park and to the Coca-Cola pin trading center to book our tables.A little later, a friend, member AFCOS, joins us. After my trading session, Marc H. joins me, we go together to table tennis to find Christophe, an other friend. We arrive on time and find Christophe who is waiting for us patiently. In the site, we are very well placed in the middle of the stadium with a perfect view of the 4 tables in front of us. Marc H. introduces us to the Beijing 2008 Olympic champion who supports his partners. Marc H., a keen table tennis player and participant in numerous international events, knows all the players in the running and presents them with their qualities and their faults. He comments on the matches as we go along, it’s very interesting. We attend a very spectacular session, it is true that the game is very varied. The top 2 ranked players are Chinese and play in front of us, they both win their match. There are still Europeans in the running, even if the eliminations are intense.These are the 8th finals. At half-time we leave the room and go to visit the temporary exhibition table tennis rackets with old which I ignored the existence. Then we resume the course of the session. At the end we all leave together at the apartment. We eat together before we separate at 1am.
Day 4 – 31 July
In the late morning, I go with my two friends to Earl’s Court, volleyball site. We arrive early to quietly have time to explore the site after entering. The hall is not new and has been rehabilitated for the London Games, but we are well placed to watch the matches to follow. While waiting for the previous session to end, we move around the room. pectators are on the floor in front of a giant screen, others are lining up to take a photo with the Olympic torch. We will settle in our seats, the first match opposes Italy to Argentina, it is Italy that wins. The next match is USA against Germany, but I have to leave a little earlier to not miss the scheduled rendezvous as a media with the BT Tower. BT executives receive the media to spread their information. Arriving in the tower, not open to the public, I receive a name badge and I spend Security. Then we wait at the ground floor in front of a wall of images. We then climb to the top of the tower, 35 floors higher with a very fast elevator. Arriving we discover a 360 ° panorama that overlooks the entire city of London. In the distance, although the weather is a little overcast and foggy, we see the Olympic Park site, but also the EDF London EYE wheel, the Wembley Stadium, it’s Fantastic! After a few minutes, Sir Michael Rake, CEO of BT us a short speech followed by Kelly Holmes, a former Olympic champion in the 800m and 1500m. All this is followed by a cocktail, excellent wine and very fine appetizers! The tower turns on itself. I sit in a comfortable chair and without the need to move I discover the breathtaking panorama of London.
Day 5 – 1st August
We are going to attend an archery session. The site was designed on the Lord Cricket Ground. The buildings are superb. The archers come in pairs, they are individual qualifications, we attend the 1/32 and 1/16 th finals, both female and male. In this session, we have the chance to see 2 French. Thomas Faugeron and Gaël Prevost each win their 1 / 32nd finals and meet in 1 / 16th. We are sure that one of the 2 will be in 1 / 8th, but pity they are in the same table. The game is beautiful, Thomas is 3 10 in a row, but Gael remains very focused and wins his series. At the exit of the stadium, the configuration allows to find the athletes who are extremely available. We can take photos with the French, congratulate them for their performance, have an autograph. On leaving, we stop at Hyde Park. I’m going for a ride on the side of Serpentine Lake, there are not many people at this time, it is 20:30. Hyde Park is the site of triathlon and whitewater swimming.
Day 6 – 2 August
Today, I am attending a conference in Russia Park on the theme of sport. Sochi facilities for 2014 are exhibited by Sochi Organizing Committee Chairman, Dmitry Chernyshenko. After, it’s time for beach volleyball. We have 4 successive matches, USA-Spain with US victory, Russia-GB with victory of the Russians and finally Australia-Brazil with victory of Brazil. Beautiful atmosphere, with show at each stoppage of the game, the spectators are much more dispelled than archery and keep moving and go to get food or drink. Then we go to Club France. We are attending the medal party for Audrey Tcheumeo who won a bronze medal, for Emilie Fer, gold medal in K1 (single kayak) with Tony Estanguet, and for 2 cyclists, Michaël d’Almeida and Kévin Sireau, team silver medal with Grégory Baugé, absent because he still has the individual competition and he must keep all his concentration. The presenter brings in Jean-Marc Barr, the actor and Jason Lamy-Chappuis Olympic champion and world champion in Nordic combined. A concert of Akhenaton, a well-known rapper is planned. We move away on the terrace. We find Jackson Richardson, star of handball, who willingly accepts to take a picture with us, the remake of the photo Atlanta 1996, 16 years later! I remind him … Brahim Asloum is here, and also agrees to take a picture, I want to congratulate him for his gold medal won 12 years ago in Sydney, boxing, better late than never !! Another photo with Jeremy Stravius, gold medalist in swimming in the 4 x 100 m.
Day 7 – 3 August
In the early afternoon, we all leave together to go to Hyde Park, at the pin trading Coca-Cola. After, I take the direction of Casa Brazil, the house of Brazil, important to visit since in 4 years is where will be held the next Summer Games. Again, a beautiful place, with a reconstruction of the beaches of Copacabana, sand less! I go to Club France to join some friends. We see Louis Nicollin, the president of the Montpellier Football Club, Jean Gachassin, the president of the Tennis Federation. 2 TV studios are at Club France, France TV and TF1.
Day 8 – 4 August
I go to the Club France, I forgot that it was the weekend and a queue of 150 m stretches along the building. Too much! In any case, it’s time for me to leave to join my fencing competition in Excel. I go by the edge of the Thames to enjoy the view, and I arrive at the Tower of London, near the famous Tower Bridge. I take the opportunity to do a little tour at The Austrian house, the welcome is cordial, music and beer, free tasting inside special rolls with jam or butter. I join Excel to go to fencing session. The 1st session is the match between the USA and the Russians in the women’s team sword, for the bronze medal win. The assaults are pleasant and the two teams stand neck and neck until the end, the USA eventually winning. The second session pits the Chinese against the Koreans for winning the gold medal. Contrary to the tradition where it is rather the European countries or the east which take the top of the pavement, the Asian nations made big progress and preceded the historical countries. The match for the gold medal is much less exciting than the first, the assaults are almost non-existent, there is a lot of wait-and-see attitude, the points do not rise quickly. Finally, it is the Chinese who win the gold. After, I go to Club France. After a while, we are told the arrival of the athletes. First, it was the French tennis team, with Jo-Wilfried TSONGA and Michaël LLODRA, who won the silver medal in doubles, then the pair Richard GASQUET and Julien BENNETEAU who won the medal of bronze. Then it is Delphine REAU-RACINET, bronze medal in shooting of Olympic pit that presents itself. It is then the turn of the swimmers of the team of France to show off. The fans are unleashed at the appearance of Camille Muffat and his congeners. After that, some other athletes have remained in rowing, a discipline that may be less attractive to fans who have deserted. Patient, I get personalized autographs and bonus photos with the athletes.
Day 9 – 5 August
Arrived at Westminster, we realize that the race of the female marathon passes by there. The runners of the marathon, left for 50 minutes, pass in front of us. I leave and go to the British Library to find Marc B. I take this step to sit and write my postcards. Then I take the subway to Kensington Gardens to visit the Africa village. The countries of Africa have come together in one place to pool their fees and present attractive tourist aspects to visitors from all over the world on the occasion of the Olympic Games. The countries of North Africa, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt are represented, but also those of West Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Congo … At the stand of Nigeria, I am offered a tee-shirt , with the logo of the Nigerian NOC. I walk in the gardens going up to Russia House, little squirrels not at all scared fun in the grass. A little later, I arrive at Russia House where I stay for a moment.
Day 10 – 6 August
It’s our last day at the Olympic Park because we did not get any other tickets to get to them later. We leave for Stradford. We continue to the Olympic Village where we find Irina. I get the mascots reserved for Edward and the pine bought at the Olympic Village which I can not go, but where Irina can go. We leave to join the Olympic Park and book our tables with Coca-Cola. We go to the basketball hall to see the 2 matches for which we have tickets. Claude and I come into the room, a 1 / 2h before the start of the first game, it is not full, we are located high enough in the stands, despite the category of place that seemed good! The first match concerns Brazil against Spain. The match is not exciting, the Spaniards are already qualified for the 1/8 finals, so as not to have to meet the US team fear, they let themselves fight without conviction by the Brazilians. The match that follows is much more interesting and fills the stadium, it is USA-Argentina. The pace is even more sustained and the USA are having a great time, making the show. In the first half of the match, very skilled, the Argentineans are on par with the USA, but in the second part, they lose their address and let themselves largely dominate, losing the meeting by a fairly severe score.
Day 11 – 7 August
We stop at an Apple Store located in Covent Gardens, a London neighborhood, that of theaters, quite charming. We happily retrieve some Apple pins that we will use as bargaining chips later. We go around the neighborhood with a covered market, and we fall, quite by chance on the NBA House (National Basketball Association). We decide to go back there. Our media accreditation makes us meet the manager who speaks in French as well as one of his collaborators, we obtain some pins, as well as a media accreditation. We make some photos promising to come back. We leave to Piccadilly Circus to join Trafalgar Square. Incidentally, we stop at the house of Monaco, we get some pins, one of which we miss. We continue to the Canada House, get introduced to the media space. We reach the pin trading center Coca-Cola before returning shortly to the apartment.
Day 12 – 8 August
I introduce the Austrian house to Claude, we have a tour of the owner by a volunteer, using our media card! We are entering the Club France and going to media space. We make some photos in the press conference area. We leave to Hyde Park at the pin trading center Coca-Cola. There are not many people, but we do some exchanges.
Day 13 – 9 August
I had noticed that the Olympic Museum had an exhibition nearby, and I wish to discover it. The entrance is free, the visit is made by packets of visitors, because they are different tables with passages that do not allow to accommodate many people at once. The reconstruction is nice. The end of the visit presents the summer torches from 1936, date of the first torch, to 2012, date of the last. All of the winners’ medals are also on display, from 1896 to 2012. I continue to Club France. I stay a moment then I go to Westfield to diner with some friends.
Day 14 – 10 August
I had a meeting at the MPC (media press center). I visit it and stay here for the day. I meet some people that I know.
Day 15 – 11 August
First, we go to the London Media Center. Then we go to NBA House. We return to the apartment for lunch then we go to Hyde Park, at the pin trading center Coca-Cola. After I go to Sochi House to visit. I comeback to pin trading. In the evening, we go to Covent Garden for the diner avec some friends.
Day 16 – Closing Ceremony – 12 August
Last day of the Games! I go to see the passage of the men’s marathon. Many metro station are overbooked with the marathon. We walk and visit some unknowed neighborhoods. We go to Hyde Park, at the pin trading center Coca-Cola then to Club France. We stay for the night. The last medal celebrations take place, taekwondo, men’s handball and women’s basketball. It’s finish for now, see you in Rio 2016!