Clare Colfer: A view from the stands

A journal entry from a spectator’s personal experience at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. 01 Dec 2012
Clare Colfer

Clare Colfer says going to the London 2012 Paralympic Games was one of the best experiences of her life

ⒸClare Colfer

"I believe that this visit to the 2012 Paralympics has to be one of the most significant experiences in my life."

The 2012 Paralympics will be remembered by many for a very long time, and especially by me. Since the Paralympics Opening Ceremony began, I was glued to the TV watching as much as I possibly could. At the end of the first week I woke up in the night and said to myself “you have to go and see it”. Well, there was no more sleep for me that night, and my heart was beating fast with excitement and fear. Just thinking of the thousands of people visiting, and all the travelling by public transport, was enough to give me heart failure. However, that inner voice kept saying, do it, do it, do it…….

My first task was to see if my friend, Kamila, would like to come with me, and she quickly said yes. Then I had to search for tickets. Two cancellation tickets were available for Thursday 6 September. Fantastic, we were off.

We made our way to Olympic Park, we were buzzing with excitement and disbelief. We could hardly believe that we were there, oh it was thrilling. The size of Olympic Park is around 500 acres, so at first it was overwhelming to see this vast complex.

We obtained our day passes and these allowed us to see any event on that day. The first one we saw was the men’s wheelchair rugby – Australia vs. Belgium. What excitement, it was so wild and rough. Next we saw the mens wheelchair tennis – Sweden vs. France, and then saw goalball – Japan vs. China.

We toured all around the Olympic Park. It was lovely to see people savouring their picnics, and eating foods from many different countries available from the various food stalls. The atmosphere was fantastic with everybody thoroughly enjoying themselves.

The volunteers ensured that everybody who asked for help received it. They could not have been kinder or more willing. They made the day very special indeed. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the volunteers. The organisational skills of those involved in the Paralympics was outstanding.

I am a very lucky person and have travelled widely and experienced many wonderful things in my life. I believe that this visit to the 2012 Paralympics has to be one of the most significant experiences in my life.