A Sunny Day at Lords

Friday, July 15, 2005

Last Sunday, I was lucky enough to go to Lords to watch a one-day international featuring England and Australia. The cricket wasn’t up to much to be honest, but Lords on a sunny day, packed to the rafters because the Australians are in town is a special place regardless of what actually happens in the game.

As the result drifted inexorably towards the Aussies, my attention wandered and I imagined how the place would look when it plays host to the Olympic archery events in 2012. I got a little shiver of excitement thinking about it.

The reality of what had happened in London the day after the Olympic announcement was never far away. When John and I got off the train in Paddington we asked a policeman for directions to Lords. He started to tell us which Tube we should get, but I interrupted him and told him that we wanted to walk. He gave us directions and we set off. I had an urge to rush back and tell him that we wanted to walk because it was a nice day and it wasn’t far, and not because we were scared to go on the Tube. As we walked to the ground past the high screens and floral tributes at Edgeware Road, I wondered if that was entirely true.

Once we’d picked up our tickets and made it to the ground, another reminder came in the form of a long queue as every bag was searched and every body patted down. By and large no one minded missing the opening few overs in the name of keeping safe, although one big-gobbed Cockney idiot felt the need to hassle the security staff about how long it was taking. That was irritating enough, but when his stage whisper could be heard throughout the minute’s silence that we all observed from outside the North Gate, I was surprised no one took a swing at him.

After the Olympic venue announcement I was very excited by it all. After Thursday’s bombings, that excitement disappeared in the face of such grim reality. But sitting there in the sunshine at Lords on Sunday imagining Olympic archers vying for medals in 2012 brought some of that excitement back again. I suppose in a way we owe it to those who died to carry on – to get excited by the trivialities of sport, to celebrate a society that allows us the freedom to pursue such trivialities, to take the Tube or a bus.

Just by Paddington station, there is a shop that I expect Lord Coe didn’t go out of his way to let the IOC visit when they came to London. I’m not quite sure it captures the ethos of the 2012 bid.


Jennifer said...

Great post! I wish London the best!

Jezza said...

Hi John, Jeremy here.

Yeah the venues are interesting when you think of Beach Volleyball at Horseguard's Parade and Archery at Lords. They may even have staged the Baseball at the Oval before the sport was kicked out if memory serves.

Anyway, all the best - what's the next sport you're undertaking? You could have a diary set up where ruffians from across the country could come and support you...or would that be too creepy?

I'm not a stalker BTW, just interested in your challenge. ;-)

SwissToni said...

does this mean we will be doing the actual Olympic course at the Triathlon? (at least the swimmming bit, anyway)


John said...

"The annual London Triathlon is rapidly becoming a major event in the capital's sporting calendar, for both elite athletes and amateur competitors. The event takes place at the ExCeL centre, which would also be an Olympic venue in 2012."

From the 2012 site - they say the ExCel centre will be a venue, but they don't seem to say what will be the triathlon venue in 2012.

John said...


Next event is the London Triathlon on 7th August - come along and support us and you can have an Ultimate Olympian T-shirt!

The online diary thing is a good idea - one of many to add to my list of "things to sort out when I get a minute."

Hope your plans are advancing. Keep me posted.

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