I have to be honest, it’s been a while since my last update, but I’ve been telling myself I have something of an excuse…
Back in July 2012, the day before the Olympic torch relay was due to go through my neighbourhood, I took delivery of a new camera, in the shape of a Canon 5D mkiii. I was anxious to test it out, but it wasn’t until after the games were over, after much enjoyment and time spent frantically trying to get tickets that I truly realised how much of a test I’d actually given my new camera.
I looked at my shot count and I now had over 8,500 shutter actuations! This ranged from events like the Olympic & Paralympic Torch Relays, to Cycling, Paralympic Basketball, Rowing, Athletics, Race Walking, Triathlon, the Paralympic Closing Ceremony and the Athletes Parade through London. For some sports, I probably never thought I’d be shooting them, Race Walking be a good example of that, but then everyone just got so caught up in the atmosphere the Games brought to the country you wanted to see it all, especially when it was free!
If I had to pick a stand out moment from the games, for me it would be the day I first went to the Olympic Park with a ticket to see the final Track Cycling session in the Velodrome. I was only able to get hold of the one ticket, so part of me wondered how the day was going to be all by myself. When I got off the train at Stratford and all the Games Makers were making you feel so welcome on the way into the park, I knew my previous thoughts had been misplaced. I got to the gate and the volunteer who checked my ticket let out a loud ‘Wow”, enough to draw the attention of anyone nearby. He then looks back up at me and said “Enjoy it, you’ve got the best event ticket in the Park today”. I was very excited!
I spent a little while looking around the Park and taking it all in, as well as a trip up the Orbit. The Velodrome though was something else; the space age airlock doors take you into a holding area before it unlocks and allows you inside, which is done in order to control temperature and humidity. Once inside, it was incredible, it sounds silly, but it feels large, but at the sametime it feels quite intimate as a venue. My seat was at the back row of one of the upper levels, to the side of the home straight, it was a great view, but to be honest, I think every seat had a good view. It dawned on me when I saw how many other athletes, officials, delegates and government and political figures were sat in other seats that I’d been incredibly lucky to get a ticket at all.
This was the firsttime I’d ever watched Track Cycling live, rather than on TV and it was fantastic. There was a wall of sound that travelled around the Velodrome as British riders went by, I found myself shouting as loud as I could. To see Sir Chris Hoy and Laura Trott come away with gold medals was amazing, along with Victoria Pendleton’s last outing as a professional rider to claim a silver. I had other great moments at the Games, but nothing came close to this and its a day I will never forget.
Given that I’ve now processed all the many shots that I took during the Games, I decided it was time I put together a gallery of my favourites. I hope you enjoy them!
Should you wish to see anymore of my work during the Games, you can take a look on Flickr here.