Take 2 — London Calling
Aquatic Center underwhelms
While the U.S. women's soccer team was battling Canada in extra time, I was stuffed into a seat at the Aquatic Center in Olympic Park. I had a ticket to diving and was excited to see the venue where so many great moments have happened this summer. Unfortunately, I was less than impressed with the Aquatic Center. I feel terrible saying it because when it comes down to it, I can't complain about being at the Olympics, but I just didn't like the venue.
First, there is a giant "something" running through the middle of the center. To me it looked like the hull of a boat or maybe a big whale suspended from the ceiling. Whatever it was, it prevented everyone from seeing the stands and spectators on the other side. I felt a little cut off from the atmosphere because I couldn't see anyone's faces or watch them cheer. I don't know if it's noticeable on television, but try to get a glimpse next time you are watching a swimming or diving event.
Next, the seats were small and the leg room was nonexistent. I'm not a tall gal and even I couldn't help bumping the person in front of me with my knees. It made for a cozy evening with some strangers. Luckily, my neighbors were great fun and we talked, laughed and ate wine gums the entire night.
Last, every section except for mine had a big screen for replays. It looked like they just forgot to install one. People were straining to look at the screens in other sections, and some just gave up altogether. It wasn't a huge deal for me because I was sitting close to the diving pool, but it would have been nice for close-ups of those cute American divers!
What the Aquatic Center lacked, the Olympic Park more than made up for. I loved walking around and checking out everyone's Olympic gear. People go all out, and it's so much fun to look at their crazy outfits complete with wigs and face paint. There's plenty to look at with so many thousands of people coming in for the evening sessions.
I'm down to my last few days in London and can't believe my Olympic experience is almost over. I feel lucky to have been able to attend so many events and I know this is a summer I will talk about for the rest of my life. Apologies to my family and friends because when I get home, every sentence is going to start with, "When I was in London..."