August 5, 2012
Scott Reed and his son Jeff have traveled from Lilburn to London to attend the 2012 Olympics. Scott Reed is attending his fifth Olympic Games this summer and will blog about his experiences for the Daily Post. His 19-year-old son Jeff, a Killian Hill Christian graduate and Reinhardt University student, will provide photos for the blog. The two will blog throughout the Olympics.
Saturday was a day that I have been eagerly anticipating all week. We had soccer tickets for a quarterfinal match held at Wembley Stadium. Wembley might be the most famous soccer stadium in the world, and I enjoy soccer, so this is one of the events that I had targeted to see on our trip. It has been recently renovated and now holds 80,000+ people in a beautiful setting.
Wembley is in northwest London, a long way from where we are staying, so we left a couple of hours ahead of time. It is right next to the badminton arena that we visited earlier in the week, so we were familiar with the route and were actually able to figure out an alternative route on the subway to avoid most of the huge crowd traveling to the match.
The match we saw was Mexico vs. Senegal, with the winner making it into the semifinals. The stadium was pretty full with only a few empty seats. The crowd was polite and attentive and at times loud, but not the boisterous crowd that is often associated with soccer. Since it is so hard to get tickets in the secondary market, the ticket holders had for the most part had theirs for months, thus making it a neutral crowd rather than one filled with Mexico or Senegal supporters.
The two teams were an interesting contrast. The Senegal players to a man were bigger and stronger than the Mexicans, and also looked faster. The Mexicans had a top notch goalie and employed better team work, and early in the second half took a 2-0 lead. But Senegal didn’t quit, and managed to tie it with a thrilling rally. The game went into overtime with Mexico dominating that period, pulling out a win.
If you ever go to Wembley, eat lunch before you get there. We ate there and I had one of their local sausages. It tasted OK but smelled strange. I told myself to ignore the smell and just go with the flow and enjoy the local flavor. My head did that, but my stomach didn’t. I could feel lunch in my stomach the entire game. Maybe that’s why local fans have a reputation for being so high strung during matches.
In the evening we decided to relax, so after dinner we just went back to the flat and watched the games on BBC TV. BBC TV has excellent coverage, but of course it is focused on the British participants. Almost no mention was made of the USA results, except to show how we are doing in the medal count. The Brits were ecstatic, with Saturday being the highest medal count day for them ever. They are clearly pleased with their results. They are ahead of France and Australia in the overall medal count, which clearly is important to them based upon the TV coverage.
Diving finals are tomorrow.