Olympian fans from Visayas
IN LONDON, I met up with my Bisaya friends from Bohol. I was so glad that RG called me to have mass with him and Eric at the Westminster Cathedral in Victoria, which is different from the Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton got married.
If there were Filipino enthusiasts for the Olympics, the tag team of RG and Eric is the ultimate Olympic fans. They had 16 Olympic events tickets each. They witnessed the opening ceremony, 2 athletics, 2 basketball, 2 tennis, 1 boxing, 1 table tennis, 1 sailing, 1 volleyball, 2 swimming, 1 hockey, 2 football, 1 beach volleyball, and 1 artistic gymnastics game.
RG says the opening ceremony was a celebration of all things British. There were theatrical highlights of all their contributions to the world of literature, commerce, entertainment and technology. It was an interactive experience because those who watched were actually given “paddles” that had LED lights in it and there were “coaches” giving instructions on what to do with the paddles. So, what you actually see on television, those bright lights that seem to be choreographed coming from sides of the stadium, were actually paddles held by the live viewers being moved about upon the instruction of “coaches” on the different levels of the Olympic stadium.
In athletics, the two men witnessed the mens 100 m sprint heats, mens 400m heats, mens 200m semis, women’s heptathlon, 110m hurdles men’s finals. They saw the uber athletes like the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, his Jamaican team mate Yohan Blake, British athletics darling Jessica Ennis, the blade runner Oscar Pistorius who made world history as the first man to compete in the Olympics without his real legs.
In basketball, the tandem watched USA vs France, USA vs Argentina, China vs Spain, and Brazil vs Spain.
And they got to witness the real Wimbledon as they purchased centre court tickets to watch first round singles matches. They watched these world famous athletes play: Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych, and Caroline Wozniacki. They even saw USA first lady Michelle Obama as one of notable spectators, and Andy Murray. They actually saw Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Laura Robson, Mark Bryan, Lisa Raymond, and Sabine Lisicki.
For a true blue sports fan, these different sightings would make you the happiest man on Earth!
They also got to cheer for our Filipino boxer Mark Barriga in his first round of eliminations. They even brought a Philippine flag to all their games!
In football, which was at Wembley Stadium, they watched womens semifinals, Japan vs France, and men’s semis between Mexico and Japan.
Swimming is one of the most popular events as tickets can go up to 200 pounds and it was not even the finals. Swimming greats Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Ye Shiwen, and Rebecca Soni were witnessed by these 2 Bisaya and I so envy their great Olympic adventure! London mayor Boris Johnson also watched in some games that the dynamic duo watched.
Two of my favorite sports, artistic gymnastics and beach volleyball were watched by them, too.
If you plan to watch the next Olympics in 2016 in Rio, Brazil, we can learn a lot from these two men-prepare ahead of time to get plane, hotels, tickets to the games, and save up a lot of moolah. The Olympics do not come cheap!
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