Posts tagged "Victoria Park"

Photo of the day: Closing Ceremony in Victoria Park

Thousands gathered for the live screening of the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony Sunday in Victoria Park, London. Fans watched the performance on huge screens, danced to live music and rode the ferris wheel as London 2012 went out with a bang.

View our full gallery from the Closing Ceremony celebration here. 

Photo by Valerie Carnevale.

Photo Gallery: Closing Ceremony

Thousands of people gathered in Victoria Park Sunday night to watch the closing ceremony. The park hosted the largest free viewing of the event. In addition to three large screens to watch the ceremony, there was a ferris wheel, zip lines, dance performances and live musical acts.

Read our story from Victoria Park here. 

Photos by Valerie Carnevale.

What was your favorite London 2012 moment?

By Charlotte Dunlap  |  BSU at the Games

Olympic fans waiting in line for the live screening of the Closing Ceremony at Victoria Park, London, share their favorite moments from London 2012.

Closing Ceremony draws excitement, end to the Games in Victoria Park

By Emily Thompson  |  BSU at the Games

Thousands wait for the live screening to start in Victoria Park, London. Photo by Valerie Carnevale.

It would be unlike London to go out without a bang.

Although all of this year’s Olympic athletes had put their skills to the test by Sunday night, Victoria Park tried to recreate the energy of the Opening Ceremony. The park had the largest free screening of the Closing Ceremony in the city.

There seemed to be fewer spectators this time around – the lines leading up to the entrance didn’t snake around the entire park as for the Opening Ceremony. Instead, people picnicked outside before gathering their items to go through security.

Londoners Louise Roon and Kenneth Lamont finished their snacks on a blanket in the grass before heading into the park. They had hoped to come to Victoria Park for the Opening Ceremony, but their plans fell through.

“We hadn’t made it down [to the park], and I wanted to see it before [the Games were] over,” said Roon, who had attended Olympic sailing, hockey and triathlon events.

Inside the park, the night’s event could’ve been mistaken for those of a festival. In addition to the three large screens, the park featured a Ferris wheel, zip-line, food stands, bars and dance troupes. Even after the ceremony started, the “woos” from the people flying above the crowd on the zip-line continued through the night.

Olympic volunteer Ollie Bolderson waited in a long line for fish and chips. He had just finished his last shift working at the water polo arena in Olympic Park and was still wearing his purple and red volunteer shirt and official lanyard.

At 16, he’s the youngest age permitted to be a volunteer. He considers himself a “massive fan” of water polo.

“The whole atmosphere of the park is just amazing,” he said. “It’s such a great buzzing atmosphere. And [the other volunteers and I] get to see loads and loads of water polo, which we love. So I’ve really enjoyed it.”

In addition to seeing a lot of water polo, he said he also appreciated the various cultures the Games have brought to London.

“I like seeing all the orange of Holland and loads of Canadian fans and those Australians, crazy Australians, and Americans as well,” he said. “London’s pretty diverse anyway; it’s not like a huge difference. But it’s nice to see. This is the best of London you’ll see, ever. Everyone’s here, everyone’s happy. It’s great.”

In front of screen one, Londoner Charlene McKenna sat on a blanket in the grass with her sister, who was visiting from Ireland. McKenna was on vacation in Spain for the first eight days of the Olympic Games.

“I work very near the Olympic site, so it was on my mind that it was going to be quite hard to get around,” she said. “So I sort of planned it around that time, but I didn’t plan it around that time solely to get away from the Olympics. Because I quite missed being here for it when I was watching on TV. I’ve come to this today to sort of feel the atmosphere I’ve watched on TV.”

Although she only experienced London during the second half of the Games, she said she can tell it’s had a positive effect on the city as a whole.

“Everyone’s really happy in London, and because we’ve had such bad weather this summer, it’s been really good,” she said. “I think everyone’s really enjoying where we are in London now in comparison to this time last year when the riots were on. There’s a really good sense of community from British people. It doesn’t matter if you’re Welsh, or you’re Scottish, or you’re English. I think there’s a good sense of coming together for the Olympics.”

After several musical performances on the union flag stage, montages of athletes crying and plenty of cheers from the crowd, the night ended with perfect symmetry to the Opening Ceremony: fireworks lit up the shared sky over both Olympic Stadium and Victoria Park.

View our full photo gallery from Victoria Park here. 

Emily Thompson is a senior magazine journalism major at Ball State University and features reporter for BSU at the Games. Follow Emily and the BSU team at @ekthompson2410@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Videographer Taylor Bussick tells all

Taylor Bussick  |  Videographer

@tbussick

Opening Ceremony viewing in Victoria Park

Victoria Park housed the largest free public viewing of the Opening Ceremony in London Friday night. The park had lines over a mile long to get inside and a colorful mix of spectators wearing their respective country’s flags. It housed three big screens, a ferris wheel, zipline, and was less than two miles from Olympic Stadium.

Also check out our video from the live screening of Opening Ceremony at Victoria Park in London.

Photos by Valerie Carnevale, Taylor Bussick and Emily Theis.

It’s all about staying positive

I was standing in Victoria Park watching the Opening Ceremony with a mass of people from all over the world, watching the fireworks in the distant sky and singing “Hey Jude,” when it hit me: I am in England—at the Olympics.

This is real life.

And just like anything in life, it isn’t all fun and games.

With the exception of trying to beat jet lag, I have yet to have a full night’s sleep. Between fruit and cider runs to Tesco Express and a morning coffee from Costa or Starbucks, my money seems to just disappear before my eyes. My feet always seem to be dirty, and the rain just doesn’t agree with my canvas shoes.

It doesn’t matter.

We have been in England for just about a week and already this has been a huge and rewarding learning experience in so many ways. Our graphics group has been working so hard, and we are seeing our dedication pay off with published pieces in the Chicago Tribune. As a student journalist, that makes your heart skip a beat.

We began to realize just how big this is and the potential it holds.

Working in the graphics group we have a policy for this whole experience — positivity. It started in the late hours of working in a hot flat for about 14 hours our first day in England. It was one rule, from one member. But now, it has become our group’s policy.

Keep it positive.

One of the first things we learn as designers is Gestalt theory: the whole is greater that the sum of its parts. I say we should apply that to our experience in London. Because no matter how hard it is to find WiFi, and no matter how much your eyes hurt from staring at the screen for too long, it doesn’t matter.

The overall experience is greater than all the little ups and downs.

Just like when I think back on watching the Opening Ceremony at Victoria Park, I won’t dwell on how badly my feet hurt or how I hadn’t had food or water in 14 hours. I will remember connecting with people on a level that transcends language and cultural barriers.

The Olympic Games brings people together, plain and simple. And if that isn’t something to be positive about, I don’t know what is.

Stephanie Meredith |  Designer

@stephcmeredith

It was a perfect—and perfectly British—night

By Emily Thompson  |  BSU at the Games

Hours before anyone in America would see, Londoners and visitors had the chance to experience the Opening Ceremony Friday night. Thousands of people from around the world gathered in Victoria Park for the largest free viewing in the city.

In a truly British manner, spectators queued in front of the park for at least two hours. As they inched toward the entrance, they passed an array of entertainment: vegan protesters (including a guy in a pig costume), religious zealots, face painters, flag vendors, French fanfare and more.

Two girls came prepared for the wait. While their friends held their place in line, they had a sushi picnic. Every so often when the line moved forward, they picked up their blanket and situated themselves a few feet further to keep up with their friends.

Soon before the ceremony began, several Red Arrows flew over London, leaving red, white and blue smoke in their trail.

Inside the park, several spectators sported flags, patriotic-colored clothes and face paint.

Evan Smith from Dallas took a break from studying at the London School of Economics to view the ceremony on one of the three large screens around the park.

He wore an American flag draped around his shoulders.

“[London’s] definitely getting more crowded, even in the week I’ve been here,” Smith said. “But it’s fun; the atmosphere is so fun.”

On the other side of the park, Londoner Lindsee McCutchon waved a small Union Jack flag.

She cried during the British national anthem.

“I’ve really enjoyed seeing the other cultures that have come to our country,” she said. “I think that’s really cool. You see all the different cultures, and everyone’s harmonious. I like that.”

Then as the Olympic athletes marched across the screen, spectators waited patiently to cheer for their countries’ teams. The loudest roar was the last, when Great Britain finally made its appearance.

Paul McCartney finished the Opening Ceremony with a dynamic performance. As the fireworks exploded above the Olympic Stadium, spectators in Victoria Park could see them both on the screen and in the air.

When the ceremony was over, thousands of people leaving the park sang “Hey Jude” together. It could not have been more perfectly British.

Emily Thompson is a senior magazine journalism major at Ball State University and features reporter for BSU at the Games. Follow Emily and the BSU team at @ekthompson2410@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.