Sunday, 5 August 2012

Did you hear that I went to THE OLYMPICS? You have now!

There are very few moments when this blogger is speechless, but as I'm sat here watching the Olympics on TV, all I want to do is cry with happiness and  pride over the achievements of our athletes.  Since the opening ceremony last Friday, there has been so much to celebrate.

And yesterday evening I was there, in the Olympic Stadium on 'Super Saturday', where I witnessed one of the greatest sporting events in history, the night that Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all achieved gold medals for Great Britain, helping to celebrate the most successful day in British athletics for over 100 years.

My husband and I were guests of London 2012 sponsors Coca-Cola, a thank-you gift for launching and judging the recent Sustainable Games blogging competition, the results of which I was pleased to announce on the company's website a couple of weeks ago.

Along with our corporate hosts, we were accompanied by competition winner Lucy along with winner-in-reserve, Laura, who received the news of her ticket as a last-minute surprise, when one of the other finalists had to pull out at short notice. Here we are, in high-spirits with our men-folk, in the stadium taking in the excitement of the athletics!

As well as the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch some amazing sport, it presented a great opportunity to finally witness the background recycling infrastructure that Coca-Cola has helped to create, including the fabulous bins about which I've waxed lyrical for what now feels like months!  As we waited to go into the stadium, I couldn't resist the chance to familiarise myself properly with these colourful beauties, which are there to help visitors easily pre-sort paper, plastic packaging, food waste - and even ponchos - from non-recyclable materials.

And to make it even easier for Olympic supporters to work out which receptacle to use, and to minimise contamination levels, the packaging was colour-coded to show its intended destination.

But as I think back to the atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium last night, I don't want to just talk about rubbish!

Goodness no! And I know many of you will now fall off your chairs to such news, but surely you won't be that surprised!  This was the Olympics and no way was I going to hang around the bins all evening!

All I really want to do now, is what I have been doing all day, and that's to relive the astounding evening that resulted in athletes' dreams being turned into a reality.

An amazing evening that distinctly made British sports history!

And the evening when I realised that I was most definitely one of the luckiest women alive.

I have had many exhilarating moments since I started The Rubbish Diet, and last night's Thank You present was most definitely the highlight of my time as a blogger.  Frankly, it's going to be a tough one to beat!

The atmosphere in the stadium was electric and highly charged wth emotion.

And sat in the thirteenth row, just behind the discus net, I could no longer hold back the tears of overwhelm and national pride as I watched Jessica Ennis complete the 800m stage of her gold medal Heptathlon.

With every stride she took, she was met by the tremendous cheer from thousands of spectators who knew the gold medal was already hers, a cheer that simply grew louder and louder as she closed in on the finishing line.

It was one of the greatest moments in sporting history, which left me feeling very humble at such amazing talent, yet proud to be amongst the 80,000 spectators that witnessed such an achievement, a victorious feeling for the athletes and country.

And the night just got better, with the news that Greg Rutherford had achieved another gold for Team GB in the Long Jump. The music and cheer just kept the beat of Olympic success pulsing throughout the stadium.

That pulse then became faster and faster as we watched Mo Farah put his strength and stamina to the test in the 10,000 metres!

With only three laps to go the commentator urged us to build the cheer and shout for Mo, but we didn't need encouraging at all.

We were already on our feet, waving the flags to the sound of  tremendous roars of support, straining our necks to watch the progress on the large screens when the leading athletes were out of our range of sight and applauding with all our might as Mo Farah sped towards the finishing line!

And forgive me as the tears roll down my cheeks again at that all encompassing memory of being in the right place at the right time to celebrate yet another proud moment for one of Great Britain's athletes, achieving his dream and making another moment of Olympic history!

When I first entered the Olympic Park yesterday, I could not even have guessed at the excitement that would come and the feelings of pride, hope and cheer of simply being there!

London 2012, Team GB and sponsors Coca-Cola have created an amazing experience that is really out of this world.  Every element of yesterday's sporting extravaganza went like clockwork, from the efforts of the athletes, the helpfulness and humour of the Gamesmaker volunteers and the organisation of London's transport facilities.

And the international spirit was alive and kicking too, as illustrated by this group of Belgian supporters who distracted me to record a message of support for one of their own athletes, a hockey player... delivered in French, to tell him he was king of his sport! 


Well, I hope that's what the message said and that they didn't take advantage of my good humour....!  Despite their wigs, they look innocent don't they?  Then again, those cheeky smiles may prove otherwise and somewhere on YouTube there could now be a bizarre video of me repeating a potential Belgian double-entendre in my very best Anglo-French accent!

The photo of these strangers typified the atmosphere yesterday, with smiling faces everywhere I turned.

But the photograph that I love the best, is this one, which demonstrates that  it’s not just my geeky interest that prevails when it comes to recycling, it’s rather the olympic spirit of other visitors that were putting the facilities to good use. And this chap was such a good sport for letting me take this picture!

I hope LOCOG achieves its aims of processing at least 70% of its waste through recycling, composting and reuse. Through streamlining its packaging, material choices and provision of the relevant recycling processes Coca-Cola has set some solid foundations that can be replicated elsewhere. As soon as the waste data streams are available, I can’t wait to find out the relevant statistics.

But most of all, at this moment in time, I’m looking forward to more fabulous outcomes from the wonderful athletes and enjoying such great memories for many decades to come.

To witness Jessica Ennis receive her gold medal last night was a tremendous experience that I will never ever forget, and it can only be matched by watching the victory ceremonies for Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah on TV tonight and reliving the events of last night as I typed up this blogpost.

If there is one thing that I took from the experience, it is the appreciation that nurturing a passion, talent and an individual's determination with the right amount of support, coaching and direction, it really is possible to achieve something incredible.

As a mother whose real passion is to create a foundation that helps her children to achieve their own dreams, whatever they may be, it is already evident that the London 2012 Olympics will inspire them in many ways.

And as a 'rubbish blogger', I am now more determined than ever to aim as high as my own abilities will stretch, to encourage more goal-enthused innovators to push towards that ultimate goal of zero waste.

The tears of emotion have stopped now, temporarily.

And as for being speechless, I think I'm now over that!


Good luck Team GB for the rest of the Games!

I know I will remember London 2012 for many decades to come!


just Gai said...

Wow. It was exciting enough watching events unfold on telly, but nothing compared to being there in person.

Peter Millikin said...

What an amazing, well deserved treat Karen. You've done so well with your own goals and in a way you certainly got GOLD! Keep up the good work and your popularity will continue. x

John said...

Love to watching whole Olympics games excitement is increasing day by day.

Entrepreneur said...

Olympics is just an good events to watch but when the people are doing wrong activities like one person hit the Bottle is very sad because Athletes are not their for only Medals they are also giving us a some entertainment.

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