A Day at the Olympics

Friday night's opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games was spectacular. The highlights that caught the nation and world's imagination were, of course, James Bond escorting the Queen's arrival by parachute, Mr Bean joining Sir Simon Rattle on stage for Chariots of Fire and the lighting of the cauldron. Those moments were all important and the whole show from rural idyll through dark satanic mills to the NHS celebration were all "makes ya proud" moments.

Tim Berners-Lee acknowledging the huge cheers received at the London 2012 Olympic Ceremony. The computer on the desk is a NeXT Cube, the type he used in 1990 to build the first Web server and client. Source

Of course for me the moment was seeing Tim Berners-Lee appear at the end of the sequence on the Web. He'd arrived in a mini with the number plate TBL 2012 and been secreted away inside the suburban house that lifted to reveal him later. From there he live tweeted the message This is for everyone which was the message of the games and has been his message since 1989. The outpouring of excitement and pride that all of us on the W3C Team have in for working in Tim's organisation hasn't stopped.

This is for Everyone - the message tweeted by TimBL. Source

Yesterday my family and I got to go. My son is a promising Hockey goal keeper so the sport has become part of our lives over the last year, hence hockey was what we went to go and see. More national pride - Team GB beat Argentina 4-1. The second match we saw was Germany-Belgium. The crowd was as one-sided in its support for Belgium as it had been for Team GB. There were a lot of Belgians in the stadium (one Francophone group right behind us in the crowd for instance) but I also heard a lot of British folk cheering them on in the rather depressingly predictable "anyone but Germany" manner. I was shouting for Deutschland.

Belgium takes a short corner in their match against Germany (the score didn't change)

The Olympic Park is a terrific place to visit. The atmosphere was unlike anywhere else I've ever been with good spirits all round. Obviously the fact that it's new is a big contributor to it looking so good. Whether it will look that good in 10 years' time, or even 1 year's time - well, we'll have to wait and see, but for now it looks fantastic.

An impressive wild flower bed right in the heart of the Olympic Park

And there is plenty of food and drink available from lots of different vendors. Actually the most in-yer-face sponsor isn't MacDonald's, it's Visa. I felt compelled to ask if I was allowed to pay for two teas and two cokes with cash or whether I had to use a Visa card (you can pay cash btw).

The victorious GB Hockey men's team taking a lap of honour after their 4-1 win over Argentina

If there's one tiny thing I'd improve it's the toilets. There aren't enough of them and they’re too far apart but that's a trivial nit-pick. Getting to the park was easy (handy for those of us who live on the main line that goes through Stratford!) getting in and out of the park was easy too with loads of very friendly volunteers cheering us all in and later wishing us a safe journey home. Thanks to those volunteers and the Army who stepped in to fill the yawning gap left by the incompetence of G4S.

I've never taken much notice of the Olympics before and was born without the sport gene, but this is a truly great event and I'm very glad to be able to say I was there.