Olympics? We've got it!
Iago's Olympic Adventure
As you may have seen in another thread, I had tickets to the Olympic women's football today, USA versus North Korea at Old Trafford. I went in with an open mind but I have to say, the standard of football was just awful and the USA are the best women's team in the world. I hate to think how bad the lesser teams are. That said, the match was surprisingly balanced and in the second half in particular North Korea had a number of chances to draw level or even win it.
The atmosphere in the stadium was awesome, even though it was less than half-full with an attendance of just under 30,000. To me that's actually pretty impressive: it was a rainy Tuesday evening and they still got better crowds than many Premiership clubs can muster during midweek. You really heard the crowds (you can also hear me on the TV coverage – bit embarrassing) and there was a very friendly feel to it all with people talking to everyone around them. It was also nice to see Old Trafford without having to endure Man United – it's a spectacular stadium and I had seats right behind one of the goals so an amazing place to take it all in. The Games Makers volunteers were really wonderful – very friendly and helpful and really keen and eager. It really added to the experience and they deserve some special recognition.
Logistically it was easy as pie too: they'd laid on free shuttle buses and ticket holders were allowed to use the Metrolink trams for free. There were swarms of volunteers around the main train and bus stations making crowd control very smooth. The security measures were a bit over the top but nothing too onerous and they weren't as authoritarian as some people are claiming (the chap who gave me my patdown asked what fragrance I was wearing, so pretty friendly).