Our 10th and final London 2012 Olympic event was attended yesterday (Sunday). Peter and I went to the Men’s indoor volleyball gold/silver final held at Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Earls Court Exhibition Centre was constructed in 1937 and it’s looking a bit worse for wear. The exterior reminded me of a building you’d find at a state fair in all its Art Deco glory. The facade is concrete and cold with little character.
I’ve read that the owners of the venue intend to close it and redevelop the area by 2020 but we’ll see if they can get through planning permission. It’s hosted great musical act and events for the 1948 and 2012 Olympics but land is king in London so it too must go.
UPDATE | Mar-19, 2018: Demolition work began December 2014 and, as best as I can tell, and was estimated to be complete but mid-2016, however, a quick search leads me to believe that it was completed January 2018 or possibly sometime in the end of 2017. It cost a helluva lot of money to demo the entire site – over a billion Pounds. A time-lapse video of Earls Court II where the London 2012 indoor volleyball sessions were held can be viewed here.
Our seats were great except from being positioned in the corner and having a very busy aisle which ran between our seats and the court. People were constantly walking down the aisle and blocking our view.
As far as fans go, there were three countries with a strong presence in the venue: Brazil, Russia and Poland. The Brazilians outnumbered the Russians and the Polish joined forces with the Brazilians so the atmosphere was definitely tilted toward Brazil.
Brazil came out of the gates kicking ass for the first two sets and I was certain that the match would end in three sets. Russia came on strong during the third set and barely won. Russia then kicked ass for the last two sets and won the gold medal. This gold medal was Russia’s first gold medal in volleyball since 1980 when they competed under the former Soviet Union. The Russians were a happy group of obscenely large men who were about to consume an equally obscene amount of voodkah.
We left Earls Court immediately after the teams shook hands and therefore missed the medal ceremony. I’d been battling a stomach bug for a couple of days and could not handle the beer and stale cigarette breath of the polish guy seated next to me for a second longer than necessary.
Peter and I hopped on the Tube and were back in Maidenhead about two hours later. I slept for a couple of hours and then we watched the London 2012 closing ceremony. I absolutely loved the Union Flag in the middle of the roundabout during the closing ceremony.
The 2012 Olympics are over. I’m sad. I’m relieved. I’m grateful. I’m going to remember this experience for the rest of my life.
It’s now my turn to award medals for the London 2012 Olympics. Over the next couple days, I will be awarding medals for various facets of the London 2012 Olympics
- Water stations
- Games Makers (volunteers)