Live in London: Beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade
blog by Victoria Mintz • August 01, 2012 @ 8:00am
So we finally made it into the event! We got the outside view of the stadium, which was incredible—made me feel like I was entering a Quidditch match from a Harry Potter novel.
Although the exterior view was amazing, I can’t begin to explain the view from inside the arena. First of all: the stadium was built right behind Horse Guards Parade, a 17th-century architectural wonder and the former headquarters of the British Army, which was absolutely stunning to see in this setting. The tickets we purchased were actually intended as media seats, but were released online because there weren’t enough spectator spots. Therefore, we were in the perfect location (right in the middle of the complex), able to see both teams playing perfectly.
It was absolutely out of this world. The complex was extremely large—seating on all four sides that extended well above our level and able to accommodate thousands of people. The best thing about the location was that not only were you right behind Horse Guards Parade, but the infamous London Eye Ferris wheel was located just to the right of the buildings. It was breathtaking, something I will always remember.
In terms of atmosphere, it was again—I may have mentioned this—out of this world! Regardless of whether their country was playing or not, everyone was cheering and chanting along with the announcer, which made the games all the more exciting.
We were able to watch four matches—two men, two women. The first match was between Germany and China (men), followed by the women’s showdown between Germany and Brazil, a third match between the women’s team of Greece and Russia and wrapped up with men’s action featuring Great Britain and Brazil. Although the crowds were crazy at all times, I have to admit it was the most energetic when the Great Britain men’s team walked out because of all of the British fans in the stands. It was the most overwhelming experience because every single person in the crowd was on their feet, cheering and yelling for the home team. Definitely grateful to experience a moment like that!
My family and I had a great time. We even made friends with some US students sitting beside us! We also convinced an Olympic volunteer to pose with me wearing the obnoxious moose hat! Can’t wait for our next Olympic event…stay tuned for more details!
Fun Fact: The Olympic Games will include 10,490 athletes competing in 39 disciplines from 26 sports, across 34 competition venues
Victoria Mintz is a Canadian student at Canisius College in Buffalo and is serving as Buffalo.com’s eyes and ears at the Olympic Games in London.