Saturday, August 11, 2012

Olympic Park

Ryan and I spent a day at the Olympic Park on Wednesday when we went to see BMX Cycling.  It was amazing to experience the Olympic Park in person and it was much bigger than I expected.  The Orbit (red twisty thing) was my favorite, but there were some other examples of interesting design too.  First stop for us was the world's biggest McDonald's.  I know, I know...but it was a special treat for Ryan.  He got a Wenlock mascot in his Happy Meal, so the day was off to a good start.

We wandered around the village for awhile and took some pictures before we went to the BMX Cycling time trials.  I have to admit BMX was better than I expected.  I didn't expect manicured grass berms (although this is England), tunnels or a DJ to spin the music, but they had it all.  There was a gigantic starting ramp the competitors went down, sort of like in downhill skiing.  And the race course featured lots of jumps, which the riders flew over to the pulsating music.

The architecture of the Olympic Park was diverse, from the white marshmallow arena (basketball) to the fluid copper-colored velodrome (cycling) to the BP mirrored pavilion. And of course, we also saw the athletics arena, the aquatics center and the Orbit.  We walked past the broadcast center and could see the temporary TV studios and bright lights, with newscasters perched above the crowds.  Speaking of crowds, sometimes it was challenging to stop and take a picture of Ryan without get mowed over (at one point I backed into a live news crew from Australia).  But everyone was in good spirits with lots of national pride on display.  We even went to the pin swap area where avid collectors had large collections on display.

I scooped up some last-minute tickets to the women's volleyball finals tonight and Ryan and I will watch USA vs. Brazil play for the gold medal.  Garett has the day off tomorrow so all three of us will see wrestling.  Hard to believe it all ends tomorrow!

Looking up at the Orbit

Ryan in the middle of the action (Orbit and Athletics Stadium in background

Edge of the Marshmallow Building - Basketball Arena

 Lots of wildflowers were carefully planted over the last 2 years for the wildflower meadow

BP Mirrored Pavilion - a trick of the eye

 BP mirrored building from another angle - can you spot us at the bottom center?

Velodrome - where Team GB struck gold in Cycling

Entering the BMX Cycling track

Start ramp at the top of the picture and finish line at the bottom

Great seats!

Shelly & Ryan at the BMX track

Go Team USA!

Ryan loved it - goodbye!

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