Thursday was just another (extraordinary) day in London.
After trading pins at the Coca-Cola Olympic Pin Trading Centre at London Olympic Park, strolled over to synchronized swimming's team event. My expectations for the event were low, but my Olympic royal sighting wish list was completed when Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) popped up on the big screen cheering on Team GB in the pool (her husband Prince William was at women's beach volleyball on Wednesday).
Though I was not able to get a decent photo on my own (Christmas wish list: new camera), I did get to speak again with Prince Albert of Monaco, who was seated with Kate, as he exited the venue (good thing the pin he gave me at USA House remained on my lanyard).
"This is the most popular pin of the Games," I said, thanking him again for the prized pin.
As the sun set over Olympic Park, my attempt to enter Olympic Stadium was aborted by a queue volunteer, but even my rejection from the venue led to a serendipitous Olympic moment as I spotted a young blond woman who was recognizable but not quite known (she had on a distinctive "Aa" athlete credential).
Would she do an Olympic blog interview, I inquired.
"Sure," she said.
Stupid me, though -- my first question to her was, "As an Olympian, what was your favourite moment or experience of the Games?"
Instantly her eyes widened, shocked by the silly question.
"Winning a medal, of course!" she said.
Only then did it finally click -- the interview in progress was with Team GB Olympic gold medalist Laura Trott, winner of two medals in the Olympic Velodrome earlier this week!
"Duh!" I said, apologizing profusely.
Like me, Trott was attempting to enter the Olympic Stadium sans ticket. Trott and her boyfriend -- another medalist (I think) whose name I did not catch -- got stopped by the same purple-clad volunteer "bouncer" on the bridge to the venue.
Before others started to recognize her (I do not think the volunteer realized who she was), Trott shared that her Olympic medals remain in the Olympic Village, she was blow away by the public reaction and new celebrity for Olympic cycling, and she is loving every minute of the Olympic experience.
Trott's boyfriend is one lucky fellow. As the pair locked lips -- I mean, movie love scene liplock -- and they embraced while waiting for confirmed access to the venue, after a few private minutes (er, private if you don't count me gawking from 10 steps away), a small mob of U.K. fans started asking for autographs and photos while stunned volunteers. Finally hip to the Olympic champion in their midst, the Games volunteers worked to get security to help the Olympians access the venue.
And still there was more to the evening -- taking in the Olympic Park after dark, Team USA won gold in women's water polo so I was able to chat with waiting fans including past Olympic water polo athletes and anxious family members.
And then there was the BBC broadcast booth at Olympic Park, in which Team GB Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis taped a victory interview before waving to thousands of mad (I mean, losing there sh*t over ther moon elated) British fans cheering up to the penthouse studio platform above.
And the Legend -- Usain Bolt -- won gold in the 200m final inside the stadium, yielding deafening cheers from Olympic Stadium. Bravo, Bolt. I hear folks in Jamaica are losing it!
A public relations executive by day, small-time eBayer by night and weekends, lifetime member of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) and full-time Olympic enthusiast who also looks at "BoingBoing-style" unusual news with interest. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you can't get enough try my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicholas_Wolaver/713593008