H and I arrived a few hours early, as instructed in our many emails warning us of queues, traffic and transport problems, security checks etc. We parked half a mile from the venue and walked – we were about the only people on the streets so I did question if we’d got the right day!
When we got closer to the venue, there were lots of fabulous volunteers and army chaps smiling broadly and signposting where we needed to go. Security was quick and painless however felt thorough and secure. We made sure to thank the volunteers and army officials for their time and care.
We were in the venue nearly an hour early and managed to sneak in to watch the end of the match before ours – what a treat, we got a bonus game.
Our first match was Italy -v- Poland. I felt slightly sorry for the Italians tonight. Playing volleyball in London 2012 against the Polish inevitably means that you’re supporters are going to be heavily outnumbered!
Earls Court was quite definately much more red and white than any other colour…
The matches were fast and furious and the noise from the supporters equal to the play on court. I loved being there and being a part of the Olympic spirit. I don’t truly understand all the rules of Volleyball but there wasn’t too many to understand or to get the hang of, or maybe I just didn’t need to to really appreciate and love the game and the experience.
I was however slightly disappointed to hear the Polish supporters booing the Italians whenever they had the ball. Whatever happened to sportsmanship or just being quiet if you’re not supporting a team? The saddest part was that there were 5 young people in the row in front of us – quite clearly a mixture of people and I suspect bought along by a youth leader of some sort. They were so excited to be there and quite literally on the edge of their seats. Like me, they were supporting the Italians (probably, like me, because they had few other supporters there). At first they looked upset and angry that ‘their team’ were being boo’d and would turn around to see who was doing it. This was replaced later with boo’ing the Polish players – well that’s what we adults just taught them to do!!!
Poland won this round 3 games to 1.
However a medal should also go to the volunteers responsible for keeping the court free of dust, dirt and debris. Their synchronised sweeping was second to none. I just couldn’t resist a little video of it either… enjoy!
(Apologies for it being sideways, I’m not sure how to rotate it!)
Next up was Brasil -v- Tunisia… to say that I felt the need to support Tunisia is as much an understatement as the need to support Italy. The Brazilians were out in force in Earls Court and yellow and green flags hanging from all available spots. Awesome game.
Leaving the venue was as easy as our arrival. So very well organised throughout. The only part that wasn’t, was due to H and I forgetting where we’d parked the car!!
After dropping H off, I headed home and was greeted by two very excited people. My nephew, niece and sister-in-law had arrived whilst we’d been at Volleyball. Tomorrow, my nephew and I are going to see the basketball at the Olympic Park!