DH got tickets for a number of ‘random’ Olympic Sports from the official German reselling site, and fencing was one of these.
We only had 4 tickets, so took DD’s 1 and 3, and went along to the ExCel centre knowing nothing about the sport we were about to watch. We were happy to learn though. The last time we’d gone to ExCel, we’d got off at West Silvertown and it had been quite a hike.
This time we got off at Custom House, which was a lot closer. FYI, Royal Victoria is also a good bet if you are going to ExCel. We followed the official finger pointers for a bit until we noticed some people disappearing down what looked like a short cut. I asked the nearest Gamesmaker if you could get to the start of security going ‘that way’, and although she didn’t say anything, she smiled and gave a little nod. She continued to direct people along the official route but winked as we slipped behind her and sure enough we found ourselves walking along an alley way that got us to Security in about 2 minutes flat.
Once we were through security and had our tickets scanned, we went straight into ExCel and found the Fencing area. There were huge queues at the doors as they weren’t yet open, but we ignored these and got some food instead; by the time we’d sorted lunch, there were no lines at all.
I have to say here that I didn’t really enjoy the fencing. It was too complicated for me and and I couldn’t get my head around how they scored points so had no idea who had won each round until the result was displayed. It was like watching a couple of people play ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ with pointy objects while having no idea of the rules.
Having said that, there were some bits I did enjoy. I loved the arena; it was like something out of a Sci-Fi movie and I did like all the lights flashing when someone was hit, and a point was scored. I also loved the Italian team; during the first half of the session there were 4 fights going on which made it hard to concentrate on just one thing, but towards the end, the Italians were fighting Belarus and it was quite exciting. The last Italian team member was being so very Italian about it and gesticulating like a mime when he thought he had won a point, and then all over again when it turned out he hadn’t.
I wasn’t surprised when I heard the Italians had gone on to win at least some of the fencing events.
The next day DH was supposed to be taking the 3 youngest to the hockey but it would have meant leaving at about 6am, so we sold our tickets on and vowed to have a rest day. That was until DH got busy on his iPad and picked up tickets for the velodrome instead.
I couldn’t be cross, I had really wanted to see the cycling, but finding childcare was going to be tricky as neither of our ‘regular’ babysitters were available. We had just had our old dog put to sleep, so the kids were all weepy and I couldn’t leave them just anyone. Finally we found an amazing friend who said yes when I asked her take on 4 extra kids for the day. So off we went to Olympic Park to see some bicyclists.
OMG, the velodrome was amazing! It is also 20-30 minutes from the main gate, so if you are going there for any reason, be aware of this and leave plenty of time to get there. We had to trot fast to make our time slot and were rather hot and sweaty by the time we got there. And of course the velodrome is very warm anyhow. But we had fabulous seats and the guy next to us was a keen cyclist who explained everything to us and the whole session was very exciting.
We got to see a few repechages, and a couple of the omnium races, and the Women’s Pursuit team win their gold medal. There may have only been 6000 people in the building but the noise was incredible as GB drew away from their opponents. We came away from our impulse buy experience with big grins on our faces and think that it was probably our favourite Olympic session so far.