- Posted August 2, 2012 by
Wembley Arena, London, United Kingdom
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What do the Paralympics mean to you?
Dark day for Badminton at the Olympics - but still fun
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
Yes, it was my only ticket for the Olympics, but there were three courts and there was non-stop action from 7pm until 11pm - we did not have to "sit through" the farcical games which drew so much media derision. I saw a lot of awesome badminton. My friends and I simply stopped paying attention to the obviously silly games - but joined in with the pantomime booing when they happened. The atmosphere was great. Every time the announcer called "please welcome the technical delegates" the crowd whooped and cheered.
I had taken inflatable bang sticks with me, which I was given at the torch relay, and told they were not compliant with the event. They were sponsored by Samsung and the televisions in the arena were Panasonic. The brand policeman said it was OK because I had just one set. The twenty or so highly enthusiastic Japanese fans around us had unisys badminton t-shirts and bang sticks. The brand policeman tried to talk to them, but soon gave up. I expected the arena to be like a racing car, with branding crammed into every corner. Instead, it was all rather understated, apart from the garish colours of course, which look good on TV, but are not so easy on the eye in real life.
Getting to, from and around the event was easy and well coordinated. My only gripe is that the food stall in our section was a tense arena in itself. People were queuing for food which clearly wasn't ready to be sold and the ensuing shouting wasn’t pleasant – no swearing though. I was over-charged for a beer by someone who said the tariff was wrong. But I was thirsty - the arena was like a sauna!
The controversial matches were a shame and simply a consequence of the tournament format. I truly felt sorry for the players forced into a position of not wanting to win, although they could have been a bit more subtle. The booing did not ruin the event for me – it made it more memorable and who doesn’t enjoy a bit of audience participation?
It was a great day out and a memory I will treasure.