Back at the Excel outpost today. Very little for the three of us to do again, a few minor repairs to some wheelchairs! LOCOG need us here just in case.
I was madly trying to get tickets into the stadium tonight after my shift finished as the girls were on again – Michelle Errichiello and Kelly Cartwright in the T42 100m and Carlee Beattie in the F46 100m. With all of the Otto Bock tickets gone; (some to people who had no idea as to who was competing tonight!) I was contemplating getting my hands on an upgrade pass and trying to wing it.
Arriving back at the village after my shift, who should I run into but Kelly and Heinrich Popow (German T42 athlete). They were flying around on the Otto Bock super four. When I told Kelly of my dilemma, she sorted me out with a ticket she had for a friend who couldn’t come. I was in!
After picking it up from the Aussie camp, I ran into Doctor Millons AKA “The Doc” getting the grand tour with Don Elgin AKA “Donnie”. Fantastic to catch up with him so far from home! We made our way over to the big arena with my new work collegue Paul from the Netherlands. Inside the stadium, Dave and Cath Howells were too far away to meet us, so we planned on meeting after the events.
Got to see the controversial blade boys running their heats, which is always great to watch. Jonnie Peacock from GB is definitely the one to watch. I would love to hear the roar from the crowd if he took out the 100 final. The build up to Kelly and Michelle’s big race was very nerve racking as we knew both would have to be very quick to get on the podium.
I was sitting with all of the Otto Bock guys including friend of APC’s Kevin Harney. (Kelly had obviously scored her ticket from Otto Bock!) Great seats at the 70m mark, 11 rows from the front and right in front of the medal ceremony podiums. Finally the race came around with the Australian anthem being played (with me belting it out with a 2m Aussie flag in the middle of 15 Germans). As Richard Colman from Oz had just won gold, in the Men’s 800m T53.
Kelly was off to a great start and led as she flew past us. Just before the line, the Italian girl – Martina Caironi, whose leg I had repaired, pipped Kelly to the line in a world record time of 15.87. Michelle came 5th in the fastest time she has run in over 2 years of 17:20.
Phenomenal achievement girls, you really have made APC Prosthetics proud! All my excitement about watching Carlee in her 100m was dashed, as she did not make it to the start line – I only hope she is OK as I am yet to find out what happened. I had to duck out of the roar of the stadium to take another radio interview, this time with the breakfast boys on 3AW (Mum will be impressed as she wakes up listening to these guys!) After watching a few more events, I had to make some hard choices. Dave and Cathy were leaving and I had not yet been able to see them. A phone conversation with Dave had to be cut short as the entire 80,000 people were made silent until after the final change in a blind relay race (incredible to experience). So I ran out to meet them halfway around the stadium – only to find I had left my seat right in front of the podium right when Kelly was given her silver medal! And managed to miss the 4X100 T44 relay, which is a real highlight – D’OH.
A late night binge at the Maccas in the village was not a great idea either (I was in need of serious sugar not necessarily fat!)