London Olympics, Part 2

After the first half of our day at the Olympic Park, I was ready to go home (well, our England home anyway) and take a nap.  There was only one small problem... we had yet to see the event that we had come here to see.  Maybe if it were something that I knew anything about I would be more excited, but it wasn't.  It was Handball.  You've heard of handball, right?  No?  Maybe it's because the US doesn't even have a handball team.  Nevertheless, we stayed until our nighttime event and I even got a short nap in on the softest grass I have ever felt.  Seriously, I must have asked John like 12 times to find out what type of grass it was so we could plant it at our next house.
John tried so hard to get tickets to the previous game, Norway v. Korea, but there were just too many Norway fans there who wanted tickets and not enough fans of Spain and Montenegro (the game we attended).  The game actually ended up being a lot of fun and quite entertaining.  To anyone unfamiliar with handball, the best way I can describe the game is a mix between Basketball and Soccer.  It's quite physical too.  One player got nailed in the face with the ball at one point and got right back up to play again.  Just FYI, the ball is thrown like you would throw a softball / baseball into the net, so it's pretty darn fast.
Since there weren't a lot of Montenegro or Spain fans in the arena, everyone kind of cheered for both teams.  The atmosphere inside was fantastic.  Just a bunch of people excited to be at the Olympic games and thrilled to cheer on great athletes. :)  By the way, the ladies of Montenegro won this game.
If there was one disappointment or critique that I would have of the Olympic games and the Olympic Park, it would have to be the absence of the Olympic Flame.  The flame was kept inside the Olympic Stadium (above) and you could not enter to see the flame unless you had a ticket to an event held inside the stadium.  :(  Why the chose not to display the Olympic Flame for all to see is beyond me.
Fortunately, I did get a tiny glimpse of the flame from outside the stadium.  Can you see it?  They moved it out from the center of the stadium for events and you could see the tiniest glimmer of a flame as night fell.
In my opinion, this is where the flame should have been displayed.  This building was interesting and artistic (named The Orbit), but it was simply artwork at the Olympic Park.  You could pay for a ticket to walk up to the top of the Orbit and see a great view from the top, but you could also see a great view from the top of the Coca Cola Beatbox for free.  So, why not put the Olympic Flame on top of this great piece of art?

After a great day (and a tired pregnant lady), we made quite a hike back to a different train station to get out of the Olympic Park.  It actually wasn't that bad.  Nobody complained, nobody pushed / shoved, and the crowd was constantly moving.  It was a long way to the train station, but Olympic Park volunteers eased the pain of more walking (after a day of walking around the park) by making jokes and attempting to cheer up the crowd over megaphones.  In fact, all of the volunteers were pretty hilarious and very friendly.  I just kept thinking about how different it would have been had this happened in the US.  Londoners were grateful and proud to have the Olympics in their country and show the world what they had to offer.  I can already hear Americans complaining about the hassle of holding an event this large that would interrupt their daily routines had this been held in an American city.  Maybe not though... I would love to be surprised by the attitudes of Americans (especially in front of the world community).  I definitely have a higher opinion of Londoners and the city as a whole after this great experience!