Since Lord Sebastian Coe had the idea for us to host the London 2012 Olympic Games came the massive project of funding and building work to build better(?) travel infrastructure and stadiums to host future and other major sporting events. As you may know or can see on my website I 'am' a sports fanatic so this brought feelings of great excitement that within my lifetime we're hosting such a huge event in our own country.
Unfortunately, this excitement soon turned to frustration as even though organisers released wave after wave of tickets for the Olympic games, I was not able to obtain a single one (and believe me I refreshed my web browser constantly!) due to the popularity and alas I had to settle for BBC TV coverage. I have to say I feel they really pulled out all the stops and I am so envious to anyone who attended the famous "Super Saturday" an can actually boast they were "there!!" Plotted up in front of television my family and I actually cheered so loudly after every gold medal was won I'm sure all our neighbours could hear our euphoria of what was going on. To those actually there I applaud you. It must have been amazing and a life changing memorable moment bringing such happy memories?
The successful Olympic Games have gone but still the legacy continues and my disappointment into getting tickets since the Olympic games amazingly... continued? Every year since the "Anniversary Games" jointly partnered with the Diamond League competition meant that this popular event was still too popular for me to obtain tickets. I felt betrayed and jinxed until three years later I again applied for tickets, again! on the day of release with the attitude of "anything" just give me anything!... Well I never, the results came back with an upper tier section available!?! Relieved and in a panic fighting with the mouse hovering over the all important "pay now" button I nervously clicked away and printed off my conformation like it was the winning lottery ticket! Satisfied I was able to attend, imagine my surprise when a few weeks later, Ticketmaster wrote to me saying they were relocating me with no additional charge to row four! In the lower tier AND Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill would be there? Believe me all the pain of many failed ticket attempts were soon forgotten.
The stadium you can imagine is amazing! Facilities clean and of a high standard. The new extended roof meant that even in row 4 the freakish torrential rain we were experiencing meant my family and I were all bone dry. The spacious seating the view of the track was perfect. So perfect I had a great view of some of the world's best athletes and many within my camera's limited focal length. I obviously will attempt to get to many more of these events but who knows If I'll ever see Farah, Bolt or Ennis-Hill again? These and more great athletes were standing right there before my eyes enabling me to tell any future grandchildren(?) I saw and I was there when.. but for now, how did I really see these athletic stars... All from behind the lens of my camera! My first time in this stadium, my first time actually seeing world stars first hand and I had a choice to make. Well I didn't really as my passion is obtaining great variety photo's so I didn't feel guilty one bit as what I captured meant I have an album full pictures I can always look back on and smile. Pictures of various athletes from around the world running, throwing and jumping, seeing Jessica run a great time since recovering from the birth of her son. Smile that Usain Bolt can help me remember a great party atmosphere he quite easily created. Smile the Mo Farah won and thanked the fans inches away from us high fiving people on his warm down lap, two of which were my daughters, who could not believe their luck!
Although this stadium will soon be shared with a local east end football team, I hope the legacy of 2012 and many other athletic events continue. In my opinion that was its initial design was for when being built. The athletic world championships will be arriving back here in this stadium in 2017. I know there will be a stampede for tickets (again) and hopefully this time the computers and servers responsible for ticket allocations will issue me and my family with some. Either this or I can achieve accreditation and be a photographer trackside. This would be a dream job and one I'm working towards achieving!!