…Despite being off work most of last week with a throat infection, I was DETERMINED to get to Glasgow on Saturday. After failing to get Olympic tickets, I was truly gutted – and totally scunnered to see empty seats at the events when I was watching it on TV. I knew that there was an FIG World Cup event in Glasgow each year, and so when the chance came a couple of months ago to get pre-sale tickets as a fan of British Gymnastics I jumped on the opportunity straight away not caring who I got to see compete! My friend Kathy was going to come with me, but then she realised she had a wedding – so Lynn stepped up to the plate as my gymnastics friend.
Saturday came, and I got up, sucked on strepsils, packed a lunch, covered my face in concealer, foundation AND bronzer because according to my Mum ‘I look awful’ at the moment (extra pale), and headed to the train station with my Olympic Torch Relay flag.
I have to say the event was super organised(aside from the tickets only arriving about a week before the event sending me into panic stations). They had put on free shuttle buses from the main bus station in Glasgow to the arena. And as it turns out…just as well.
I soon realised that my bringing my flag from the Torch Relay (a Union Jack) was a dangerous thing – as our bus stopped for a rather large Orange March on our way to the arena. I then realised the arena was in the Parkhead area…the home of Celtic Football Club. You might know about the riots and violence that’s been going on in Northern Ireland over the last week. You might also know that people on either side of the Republican/Loyalist debate like to associate with Celtic and Rangers – the ‘catholic’ and ‘protestant’ football clubs of Glasgow. Basically, wandering around a ‘Celtic’ area of Glasgow carrying a Union Jack flag is basically like walking around with a target on your back. And it didn’t fit into my backpack. OOPS.
I got there safely on the bus, and was greeted by friendly stewards who handed me a programme, showed me where to go and allowed me back out to meet Lynn with her ticket!
We settled in our seats to eat our lunches, watched Beth Tweddle and I explained who all the gymnasts competing were to Lynn. They had helpful videos on the big screen to explain each event which was great for the newbies to gymnastics.
It was a super long afternoon, but we were blessed with some great gymnastics – especially considering it’s the end of an Olympic year! Marcel Nguyen showed why he won the silver medal behind King Kohei Uchimura in London. we got to see Danell Leyva’s Dad and Coach, Yin do his exuberant clapping, bouncing and air punching. I strongly believe that Elizabeth Price could win the All-around at worlds next year in Antwerp. And I was gutted that Rebecca Tunney fell from the beam, because she could easily have got a medal if that hadn’t happened. The crowd loved the Japanese guy (I can’t remember if it was Saito or Tanaka) who threw a bit of Gangnam Style when they ‘introduced’ all the gymnasts. I loved the amazing mount to the beam Wakana Inoue performed. Daniel Purvis gave a great pommel horse routine and fought through some minor errors after falling on the Floor event. Kristian Thomas nailed his floor routine, but a disastrous time on Pommel Horse became a theme as he fell on several other events after which was very uncharacteristic for him. What I loved though, is any time a gymnast fell, the crowd cheered them on throughout their routine once they got back on – no matter what colour their leotard was.
So finally – some pictures from the day…