This was definitely one of the highlights of the summer. Jacky and I had been looking forward to London for so so long. Jacky’s been to London before, but this was my first time :) I honestly had no expectations at all (ok, maybe a few negative thoughts..) so I was incredibly pleasantly surprised.
We first applied for Olympic tickets in April 2011. Jacky was a Swiss resident at the time so we were able to apply directly through the official website. We got a few friends to apply for us too ;) The whole thing was basically a lottery – you select the events you want (Some people applied for several thousand pounds worth of tickets) and you got allotted event tickets if you’re lucky. Jacky and I both applied for our fave events and waited… and waited. In June 2011, I received an email saying I got tickets!! Jacky, however, didn’t get any :( They sent me another email later on with the precise events and dates. Volleyball and diving! Both were gold medal events too!!! Two of my favourite events. I was so incredibly lucky..
Since Jacky didn’t get any tickets, he (along with thousand and thousands of others) had first dibs on the next phase of tickets – events sold on a first-come first-serve basis. He was able to get tickets for tennis (gold medal women’s singles & men’s doubles) and badminton (gold medal men’s singles and men’s doubles!!!!) I was soooo excited. Lin Dan!!!! (Very unlikely he wouldn’t make it to the final)
Overall, I made three separate trips to London. I still had school at the time (final exams!!), plus, accommodation was said to be really hard to find and expensive. With flights being so cheap, going back and forth wasn’t a problem.
Jacky thought that transportation was going to be horrendous but it wasn’t at all!!! Honestly we could have stayed anywhere in London and wouldn’t have had any problems with traffic. I was sooo (pleasantly) surprised that the traffic was so efficient. The London organizers honestly did an awesome job.
We arrived July 28th, the day after the opening ceremonies. We stayed pretty close to the Arsenal tube stop.. The location wasn’t bad.
Our first event was womens 3m synchronized diving. Ever since following Guo Jingjing’s diving career back in Athens 2004, diving has been one of my fave sports to watch at the Games. She’s one of my favourite athletes :) I met her and her teammate Tian Liang at the Athlete’s Village in Athens and took a picture with them.. Couldn’t believe my luck back in the day.
So uh… guess who lucked out again!?! I couldn’t believe x1000000 how lucky I was. She had been retired for four years too!!! I didn’t expect her to be in London at all!! She was with her boyfriend Kenneth Fok and his father, Timothy Fok. I really really wanted to get a picture with her, but I was sooo nervous. So here’s my best stalker pic.
After a couple minutes I plucked up some courage and asked for a picture.. in English. MAJOR FAIL. I was so nervous I couldn’t think properly. Jacky was like.. Why didn’t you talk to her in Chinese?? I don’t know!!! My brain was seriously not working at the time. Blacked out my face cuz I look ridiculous here, being too giddy or whatever LOL. She’s really pretty in real life.. UGHH I LOVE HER.
This is me being giddy again with Timothy Fok.. billionnaire, president of HK Olympic, IOC member etc etc
Final results: China (gold), USA (silver), Canada (bronze)
After the event we thought we heard people speaking Canto.. and apparently TVB was filming something there. The lady in the purple jacket looked soo familiar, like I’ve seen her in shows before, but neither of us knew her name.
After our event we went to China Town for lunch.. Omg I looove London. There’s a bit of everything.. and I was soo happy to be in an English-speaking European city!!! I didn’t realize how much I missed speaking English and not being looked at funny.. We were mistaken as Americans everywhere we went, but whatever :D
The famous red telephone booths :D
The Chinese and GB flags in China Town
乾炒牛河… mmm mmm :)
My favourite UK store!!!! Ahhhh!!!! I was soooooooo happy (catchphrase #3) to be there. Jacky got me a gift card a couple weeks back (my Cath Kidston wallet got stolen :() so of course I had to use it!!
We walked around the city for a bit.. We saw a cute Mini Cooper exhibit and just had to go in (not to mention they were playing a Federer tennis match).. Honestly the Olympics are the best event to market new products
Barricades for the cycling competitions
Sorry had to take a pic – What is more iconic than the London bridge? (actually the physical bridge is pretty ugly)
The rings looked sooo gorgeous on Tower Bridge
View from the top of the double-decker bus! Reminded me of HK :(
Of course, our (first) London Olympic trip would not have been complete without visiting Westfield mall!! Largest in Europe I think? They had really amazing food too (albeit kinda expensive)… I had their butter chicken three times LOL… Mmmmmm
And guess who we saw at the mall?? Diving champ Alexandre Despatie!!! He was coming out of Costa Coffee and I was like.. omg Jacky, I think that’s Alexandre Despatie!! I wasn’t 100% sure so I had to sneak a peak at his badge.. But after that was confirmed, I asked for a picture right away. He was sooo nice too, we took 3 pics altogether :)
The largest McDonalds in the world!!! I was pretty disappointed though.. The building itself was huge, but it was pretty much hollow!! Customers had to sit outside, which was incredibly lame given that it rained in London six out of seven days
The official pin trading building. This was what prompted Jacky to start collecting!
They sold pins too.. Sooo expensive :S
Our second event of the weekend – swimming!!! This time we went with Shaun, one of Jacky’s co-workers from LAS. This is one of the many things I love about swimming… Mmmmmm look at those bodies!!!!
Nate and his family cheering for Tera :) I felt so honored to see her compete at the world’s most prestigious sporting event!!
The highlight of the evening – 4×100 mens freestyle. I was really sad to see US lose the gold at the last minute
Michael Phelps :D Legend…
Ok so basically Tera swam in the semis and tied for 8th place with a Jamaican swimmer. Since that never happens, the judges/officials had to deliberate to see whether to admit both or do a swim-off. They decided on the latter, which I thought was ridiculous. The girls were exhausted by then, not to mention the pressure omg.. Imagine having to swim against just one other person with thousands of people watching live and millions watching on TV. She lost by just a bit in the end too. Shame :(
On our way out, we took a group pic (for free!) at some photo booth sponsored by BP.