Saturday, August 11, 2012

Are you a record breaker??????

Are you? Because I am. He he. The Gold medal Women's Football match on Thursday night was a record crowd for an Olympic Women's football match. 80, 203 people and we were two of them! Awesome!

And boy did we know there were 80,000 people. Oh my word. Writers talk about floods of people but this was phenomenal. Spilling out of Wembley Park station in all directions, but with one destination in mind. I've literally never seen this many people together before.

Ants seem to be a decent analogy. Swarms of ants scurrying around, desperate to pick up tickets, find food and take their seats.

Within the hoards were masses of USA and Japanese fans, as well as a whole host of nations and their colours. We were still undecided on who to support, but it didn't really matter, the atmosphere just getting into the place was electric, never mind what it would be like once it started.

I'd never been in New Wembley. I had the pleasure of once travelling to Old Wembley to watch Wigan Athletic in a play off final from Division 2 I think, against Gillingham. Man that was a long time ago. He he. But really, wow, new Wembley is pretty awesome!

We picked up our tickets and went round to the turnstile to get in, A suddenly excited by the turnstile entrance. Well it is usual for a football stadium. Bless him. He's not well up on ball sports. So after the obligatory body search and bag search we were off to find food and our seats. Now we'd only bought our tickets a week or so ago and we'd got second price tickets so we knew they should be good, but we had no idea just how good until we stepped into the stadium.

Wow! Sometimes it is worth spending a little extra money (plus it was an early birthday present from A, so Woo!) Just look at this:


We were surrounded by both Japanese and Americans and still couldn't decided who to support but I have to say it was nice not to have a personal claim in the outcome because it just made everything exciting. Every chance at goal had your heart thumping, every tackle, every cross, every moment electric!

These Women were playing some amazing football and at that point I just didn't care who won, I wanted some entertainment and we certainly got it! Chants of USA and Japanese fans didn't disappoint and they were equally vocal as the match progressed.

This might sound weird but you almost forgot they were Women. It was just an awesome game of football and gender became irrelevant. I know a lot of people (mainly men) that would argue Women cannot play football or have no right to presume they can, but I'm telling you, this was about passion for a sport they love, skill, hard work and determination. And they could probably put a lot of male footballers to shame.
One thing you did notice was a lack of diving and really milking an injury (or non injury) for all it's worth. The Women don't do that, they just get on with it. There was only one yellow card in the whole match and about two instances of off-side called in the whole match. The Women are much better behaved. Of course!

I think football is about the game not about the gender you are when you play it, but then I know Women have campaigned long and hard to be taken seriously as footballers and I hope that with the exposure it's gotten at the Olympics, maybe it can become better received all around the world. Having a noo-nah instead of a willy should in no way dent your ability to kick a ball well, or in that respect throw a punch (hooray for equality in Women's boxing, not that I'm a huge fan of people punching each other in the face, but it is another step forward for equality for Women.) And I for one would be delighted to support a home nation side in Women's football. Actually I would love the GB Women to take on the GB men. And why not.

Okay I think I've made my thoughts known. Women rock and don't you forget it!

At full time it finished USA 2 Japan 1, though with a late surge I thought Japan might claw back a draw, which would have been awesome for us as we'd get extra time and possibly even penalties. He he. I want my money's worth. But sadly it wasn't to be and Japan finished a worthy second. Well done USA, as much as Japan probably had more chances, at the end of the day if you can't get it in the net you're gonna lose!

I have to say though, at times the football was as frustrating as watching an England men's match. You end up yelling and pointing and losing heart with the whole thing. 'Why are you going backwards?' 'Why is there no one in the box?' 'That was a terrible cross.' See, it really is equality for all. Ha ha.

Anyhoo, I'm rambling. Another amazing Olympic experience and not forgetting the medal ceremony. Canada had beaten France to the Bronze medal so the Canadian team were also there to pick up a medal. Just constructing the podium so it was large enough to house all those ladies took about half an hour. And the presentation itself was quite emotional. It really was a good job GB weren't playing, I would probably have been balling my eyes out.

What I found amusing was the fact that I'd been to all three countries of the medal winners. We sat and mused how we liked all of their countries. Good memories! And after that it was time to join the ants back to the ant hill (Wembley Park station). Took an hour and a half to get back but what a night. Amazing atmosphere, crowds, football, Women, goals and experience. I love Wembley and can't wait to go back!

Now, It's Saturday and it's sunny and I'm taking A for a walk up the O2 today. Whoop!

Have a great weekend. Come on GB, get some more medals. It's almost over.

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