8.01.2012

Let the Games begin

Now I am fully aware that I am nearly a week late in getting this post up, but as you may have noticed, it's been crazy busy here across the pond.

But now that I have found the time, let me tell you about one of the single most memorable moments of my life. No joke.

On the night of the opening ceremonies, a group of us headed out to Victoria Park for one of the largest viewing parties in London. The line — or, ahem, "queue" — was ridiculously long and we thought we might not even make it in. But, alas, we did.


I cannot even tell you how amazing it was to stand among this humungous crowd comprised of people from all over the world (but, you know, mostly Brits) and celebrate the opening of the Games. Everyone was just bursting with pride and support of their home country and it was crazy intense energy.

Not to mention we weren't far from Olympic Park, so we could see all the fireworks lighting up the sky before we saw them on our big screen. 

And so much cheering and singing and just...overwhelming, in the absolute best way possible.

The highlight of the night, though, was singing "Hey Jude" with hundreds of people. It was just so amazing how something as simple as a song can create a connection between strangers that transcends language and culture. 

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And that continued when the ceremonies ended, and the crowds poured out of Victoria Park and flooded the streets heading for the Tube and bus stations. Really, it was just awesome. So awesome.

Of course, after the adrenaline from everything started wearing off, getting back to the flats became an unwelcome chore. The line for the Tube was about a half mile long outside on the sidewalk. Walking would take almost two hours. So we navigated buses part of the way, then tortured our feet a little longer and walked the rest of way. 

At this point, I hadn't had food or water in about 14 hours, so I was about to pass out. By the time I guzzled water, ate some fruit and settled into bed, the sun was rising.

But in all honesty, I wouldn't trade that night for anything. It easily ranks as one of the top moments of my life. And that may be slightly exaggerated, but not much. 

I still think back on that night, get "Hey Jude" stuck in my head, and say to myself: "We're at the Olympics."

Somehow, this is real life.



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