Olympic Reality 2012

Just before the games began, I blogged about what I thought it would mean.

16 days and many medals later for Team GB… what a games it’s been.

Having been to the football 4 times – and seeing the gold medalists play at the Millennium Stadium, it was kind of strange on Friday night walking out from there thinking that was it. Yes, okay it was only football and as some people suggest football shouldn’t be part of the games – even though it is team sport that has been longest in the games.

Welsh medal hopes went quite well – some extraordinary ones – Jade Jones in Twaekwondo, just brilliant!

There are probably too many memorable moments to list, from that opening ceremony with the Queen and James Bond, to that 45 minute period on Super Saturday when Jess, Mo and Greg all won Gold – and TeamGB football had to blow it at the Millennium Stadium with penalties – who have thought that huh. A British team losing on pens…

I’m not even going to try and remember all the medalists, the most since 1908… when obviously there were only 6 countries taking part 😉

Everyone talks about legacy – what will that be for London 2012?

All I hope is that people start looking at what people they look to for inspiration. Forget your reality tv lot and people who frequent the pages of OK or Heat magazine.

Inspire a generation was the tagline… and that will be the legacy.

Now bring on the Paralymic Games

Maybe I’ve found my song of 2012?

Last couple of years I’ve had songs that have signified my year. 2010 it was David Guetta and Flo-rida, Club can’t handle me. Last year was Example, Changed the way you kiss me.

So far, 2012 has been devoid of a song memory…. or maybe that’s changing now;

So it’s an Olympic year… so maybe the song & images that are played within the Millenium Stadium before football could be my tune…? Muse… sounding a bit like Queen at times….

Vale of Glamorgan Olympic hopefuls

Taken from the BBC Sport website, here’s the list of Vale of glamorgan hopefuls for Team GB

ATHLETICS

Rhys Williams

From: Bridgend. Club: Cardiff: Discipline: 400m hurdles

The son of Wales rugby great JJ Williams, Rhys was the hope of Welsh 400 metre hurdle running before Dai Greene’s emergence. The former European youth champion won bronze in the 2006 European before breaking the Welsh record while finishing fourth at the 2006 Commonwealths. He ran a personal best of 48.96 seconds winning European silver in 2010 and confirmed his first Olympic selection by winning the 2012 Europeans. His 2012 best of 49.33secs is not in the top 25, almost two seconds slower than quickest Javier Culson.

BOXING

Andrew Selby

From: Barry. Club: Splott ABC Discipline: Flyweight 52kg

The 23-year-old sealed his place at London 2012 after defeating England’s Khalid Yafai in a box-off and Selby is a realistic medal hope as he currently stands as number one flyweight amateur in the world. Selby was Wales’ first European amateur champion in 86 years back in 2011 when he beat former three-time champion Georgy Balakshin in Turkey before winning silver medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championships, missing out on gold against Russian Misha Aloyan by only a point.

CYCLING

Nicole Cooke

From: Vale of Glamorgan. Club: Team Faren. Discipline: Road Race

The 29-year-old is one of the world’s most formidable riders and won the first Welsh Olympic gold for 36 years when she stormed to the Olympic title in Beijing. In fact, Cooke was the first of Team GB’s 19 gold medals in 2008 as she became the only cyclist ever to win the Olympic and world title double. The 10-times British Road Race champion has won the World Cup twice but her form leading up to London 2012 has not been as good as Cooke would like so she will provide support to assist Lizzie Armitstead win gold.

SWIMMING

David Davies

From: Barry. Club: Cardiff. Discipline: 1,500m

The double-Olympic medallist is set for his swimming swansong at his home Olympics in the event which catapulted him to international recognition. Davies smashed the British record by swimming the then fourth fastest 1500m freestyle time in history by winning Olympic bronze at the 2004 Games. The 27-year-old then won Commonwealth gold in 2006 before switching to the new 10k open water marathon. Davies secured an open water silver at the 2008 Olympics but failed to qualify for London 2012 in the 10k. He made the GB team, however, in the 1,500m squad. Davies, who is ranked 10th in the world, hopes to become the first Welshman since Paulo Radmilovic at the 1920 Antwerp Games to win Olympic medals in three separate Games.

Ieuan Lloyd

From: Penarth. Club: Cardiff. Discipline: 200m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle

The double 2011 European Junior champion made his senior international debut at the 2010 Commonwealth Games when, aged just 17, he came within 0.23 seconds of a spot in the final. The 19-year-old won a trio of medals at the 2012 British Championships in the 200m individual medley bronze, 200m freestyle silver and 400m freestyle bronze. The promising world number 28 goes into his first Olympic Games a month after lowering his 200m freestyle personal best to one minute 47:55 seconds as he won gold at the National Championships.

TRIATHLON

Helen Jenkins

From: Bridgend.

The 28-year-old was victorious on the London triathlon course last year as she won her second World Championship title in 2011. Jenkins disappointed at the 2008 Olympics because she finished 21st in Beijing but she made up for that poor performance as she won the first of her world titles in 2008. Jenkins, who married coach Marc Jenkins at Disney World in 2002, also won the 2011 Pan American Cup and the world number three is among the favourites for gold at London 2012.

Also, Here is BBC Wales’ at-a-glance guide of when, where and on which channel Wales’ record 30-strong Olympic contingent will be competing at London 2012 – and a summary of Olympic football matches in Cardiff.

For the full list, check out my previous post

Olympic Dreams 2012

So on the eve of the Olympic opening ceremony I thought it time I blogged for the first time in ages – don’t ask how long but I’m sure Tony Blair was still the Prime Minster.

So here we are on the brink of the biggest show on earth being in our backyard. Now some may say, NIMBY – but me, although I’m not a huge sports-fan, I do have some appreciation for what it means. Yes, for the next two weeks, the telly will having nothing but sport on (you’ve only got 3 channels? Get back to 1981 where you belong then), and transport within London will be a nightmare (I don’t live there, so actually… don’t really care). But for a brief moment in time, the next 17 days will be filled with everyone coming together and supporting one cause. Doesn’t matter what sex, orientation, or skin tone you are (if you’re from Essex by the way, do you actually know what your skin tone is? Hello Spray tans r us, can I help you?)

We are home team, for the Olympics and then the Paralympics. Remember how everyone came together when the torch came to town? Well, the torch has now reached it’s destination, and we’re with it all the way. And yes, the football team might be a bone of contention with regard only English and Welsh FA’s players being a part of it (and the latter still under much duress), and yes, the Welsh players not seemingly singing “God save the Queen” – but let for now just enjoy it. There’s far too much going on in the world which is a bit rubbish.

Come on Team GB!

Oh, and before the Olympic torch becomes the Olympic flame….

If only….

Cardiff’s Olympic transport system (road closure/buses/trains)

(Taken from Wales Online 18/7/12)
Details of road closures during Cardiff’s Olympic football matches have been released by Cardiff Council and South Wales Police.

Olympic football begins at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday July 25, and there will be 11 matches across eight days with the last one being played on August 10.

For all Olympic matches there will be road closures in place around the Millennium Stadium. The following roads will be closed in their entirety:

Duke Street, Castle Street, High Street, St Mary Street, Caroline Street, Wood Street, Central Square, Westgate Street, Quay Street, Guildhall Place, Golate, Park Street, Havelock Street and Scott Road.

The following roads will be partially closed:

  • Kingsway – from its junction with North Road/Boulevard de Nantes to its junction with Duke Street.
  • Cowbridge Road East – from its junction with Cathedral Road to its junction with Westgate Street.
  • Tudor Street – from its junction with Clare Road to its junction with Wood Street.
  • Plantagenet St and Beauchamp Street – from their junctions with Despenser Place to their junctions with Tudor Street.

View Cardiff Olympic road closures in a larger map

Residents and traders will still be able to get access to Tudor Street, Plantagenet Street and Beauchamp Street.

The road closures will be put in place two and a half hours before the kick off for each match, and stay in place until at least an hour after the game ends. The closures will also affect bus services in the city centre. A full list of the alternations to Cardiff Bus services can be found on their website.

A new campaign, called “Get Ahead of the Games” has been launched to communicate directly with people travelling to matches.

The website and @GAOTG Twitter feed will give tips, travel information and advice on how to plan ahead and avoid congested areas.

Cardiff Council has also advised that the best way of travelling to and from Cardiff city centre for the football is using the park and ride services near junction 33 of the M4, which costs £10 per car.

The park and ride will include provisions for disabled passengers, with parking next to the bus pick-up point, and low-floored buses.

Cardiff Council said the site would open 30 minutes before the first bus, and close 30 minutes after the last bus leaves the city centre. The authority said ticket holders should allow 15 minutes walk from the drop-off point to the stadium, and a further 40 minutes to reach your allocated seat.

The timings for the road closures and park and ride information are:

  • July 25 – Great Britain v New Zealand and Camaroon v Brazil. First kick-off 4pm. Road closures begin at 1.30pm and end at 9.30pm. First bus from park and ride 10am, last bus from city centre 10.30pm.
  • July 26 – Brazil v Egypt. Kick-off 7.45pm. Road closures begins 5.15pm and end at 10.30pm. First bus from park and ride 10am, last bus from city centre 11.30pm
  • July 28 – New Zealand v Brazil and Great Britain v Cameroon. First kick- off 2.30pm. Road closures begin at 12noon and end at 8pm. First bus from park and ride 9.30am, last bus from city centre 9pm.
  • July 31 – Japan v South Africa. Kick-off 2.30pm. Road closures begin at 12noon and end at 5.15pm. First bus from park and ride 10am, last bus from city centre 6.30pm.
  • August 1 – Mexico v Switzerland and Great Britain v Uruguay. First kick-off 5pm. Road closures begin at 2.30pm and end at 10.30pm. First bus from park and ride 9.30am, last bus from city centre 11.30pm
  • August 3 – Quarter Final Women’s. Kick-off 5pm. Road closures begin at 2.30pm and end at 7.45pm. First bus from park and ride 10am, last bus from city centre 9pm.
  • August 4 – Quarter Final men’s. Kick-off 7.30pm. Road closures begin at 5pm and end at 10.15pm. First bus from park and ride 9.30am, last bus from city centre 11.30pm
  • August 10 – Bronze Medal playoff Men’s. Kick-off 7.45pm. Road closures begins at 5.15pm and end at 10.30pm. First bus from park and ride 9.30am, last bus from city centre 11.30pm

There will also be free coach parking on Edward VII Avenue, and secure parking for bikes in Sophia Gardens.

Cardiff’s cabinet member for highways, traffic and transport, Councillor Ralph Cook, said:

“Hosting the Olympics Games is a huge milestone in Cardiff’s history and we want to make sure the events hosted in the city run as smoothly as possible for both residents and visitors to the capital. The city has already proven time and time again how we have the right infrastructure in place to be a world class event venue.

“We have worked closely with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), The Millennium Stadium and South Wales Police to ensure everyone’s safety is the priority, this is why it is essential to have these road closures in place.

“Officers will meet with city centre businesses regarding deliveries and we will continue to communicate with residents via Capital Times, local press, the council website and the council’s Twitter feed regarding details for the Olympics.”

Arriva Trains Wales has also warned that city centre stations will be operating differently throughout the games at the Millennium Stadium.

Cardiff Queen Street station will be closed for an hour before kick off of each game at the Stadium, and in some instances will remain closed until the following morning. Details of the closures for each event day can be found here.

Bicycles will not be allowed on on Arriva Trains Wales trains in the lead up to, during and after the matches. Full details of these restrictions can be found here.