The 2012 Olympics in Manchester?!
Yes, you heard it right.. Manchester!
While everyone was or wanted to be in London for the Olympics last month, I decided to go the “off the beaten path” and go instead to Manchester for the games.
There weren’t many options anyway – I’m one of the few lucky ones to score a pair of tickets to a game at all. Manchester or London – I just couldn’t turn down an opportunity to be in the Olympics.
Aside from London, the Olympics actually happen in places outside the capital city. There was sailing in Dorset for example and football practically anywhere with huge arenas like Newcastle, Cardiff and Manchester.
While we didn’t have tickets to see the Olympic superstars like Usain Bolt & Michael Phelps nor the sexy ladies playing beach volleyball, the fact that I got tickets, I couldn’t care less.
The tickets I got was to see the football quarter finals. It was an expected set for a Spain and “another team” but La Roja didn’t get in. In the end, it was a game between Japan and Egypt.
It was an adventure I can’t miss – so together with Roy of the Riding Dutchman – we went on an epic weekend to the UK!
Manchester’s Old Trafford was 70,000+ people full – and probably only 10% were Japanese or Egyptians. There were mostly English, Spanish and some who, like me and Roy, are just there for the games. This meant that all cheers were neutral, and everyone was just waiting for a goal.
There were times were almost no one paid attention to the game and just waiting for their turn to do the mexican wave.
And with that crowd, I can say that the waves WERE the highlight of the game.
The game didn’t disappoint though. The first ten minutes of the game, there was already a goal. Then a red card was given before the end of the first half. The game finished with 3-0 for Japan.
It was a win-win for all – for the players for putting a good game and for the audience who were given a shot to shout GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! several times.
But because of our limited time, we didn’t get to see Manchester. But hands down, Manchester played a good host and we felt everyone was really welcoming. Public transport to and from Old Trafford to the centre was free. There were free maps, ponchos in case it rained, and smiling volunteers everywhere.
The game only lasted two hours but it’s a memory that I’ll keep for a while. Happy to finally tick-off the Olympics in my non-existent bucket list.
Oh and yes, I bought myself a gold medal. I’ll proudly show this to my grandkids someday.
(A special thanks to Roy btw for letting me use his photos on the blog)
Have you been to the Olympics? How was your experience – share them below!