…was not as ‘productive’ as it might gave been. I had planned to go up the mountain for the evening, but left it too late to be worth while!
The day started a bit earlier than usual as I got up to go ‘off campus’ for the morning! My first venture out of the Olympic bubble into Russia! Although, saying that, Adler is still very Olympic having all its hotels full of Olympic guests and all the shops selling Olympic stuff. There were, however, more locals milling about normal life and not wearing the 80s shell suit uniform. There were more stray dogs wandering around, not poisoned, but it was still mostly new and clean. At one point, as I wandered, l happened upon a group in traditional dress getting on a tatty old bus. I assume they do not go about daily life like that and were on the way to perform in the Olympic Park, but maybe not?
I met a Russian guy who basically became a host for the morning. He has travelled across the country to volunteer at The Games and was a great ambassador for Russia. Having someone to help me navigate the buses was a bug help and meant that I travelled on a real Russian bus with a plastic pot for the money, rather than the Olympic additions! It was also good to talk a bit about real life here.
Then I got to have a more familiar Olympic experience. I arrived at the park at the public train station, I wrapped my Union Flag around my shoulders and joined the crowds. Such a great atmosphere, as I have found at every Games. Everyone so pleased to be there, expecting to have a great time. Because we have such a great, distinctive flag people want a photo with it. Russians, Koreans, Dutch came over to pose with me, us both holding out our flags. The Park looks brilliant with people filling it, so colourful and bright.
Then I joined the crowds entering the Ice Cube; Curling Centre. Well, I slipped down the side of the crowd to the VIP entrance! Once inside, though, it was difficult to get round to the Family Lounge. Down stairs and through corridors and I found myself passing the team rooms! The British Girls were warming up in the corridor so I wished them all the best and continued! Then through another few doors and I found myself in the press commentary area! I did eventually manage to find the lounge just in time for the start!! I am glad I did because if I hadn’t there would have been no one for the BBC to show since I had the only Union Flag in the place. Over 100 emails and messages let me know that I had been spotted and ruined people’s breakfast across the UK!!
Now, I have watched Curling in the last few Olympics, but other than the general ‘boules’ principles I don’t know much more. So I asked the lady next to me, who turned out to be the President of World Curling, and she proceeded to commentate the rest of the match, explaining each play!! A very enjoyable sport to watch, but Sweden were apparently always going to be a tough opponent!
Then I bumped into Adam! Although I am his guest he is working most of the time so I only usually see him at night as we share a room. On the way out I detoured back to the media area to get photographic prove of my new friendship with CB!! All this delay meant I missed the bus up to the mountain, and another half an hour would’ve meant I missed the event so instead I headed back to the hotel.
After a bit of a rest I was ready to go again. Adam is invited to functions by the different country’s commissions and tonight it was USA. So I suited and booted, put on my Union Flag tie (made by my sister) and headed to USA House. As one might expect, dinner was burgers with Budweiser, which went down well. I met the BBC Head of Sport and the President of FIBT amongst other people. Also Jacque Roc, the ex-president of the IOC, and Thomas Bach, the new one.
It was a fun time, quite ‘political’ in who speaks to who, but there were enough people for me to talk to too! And thankfully it didn’t go on too late!
I have only just realised that the day starts and ends so late so that European TV can show events in prime time. I don’t feel so bad for getting up late after all.