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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Our first experience of wrestling - the Olympics 2012

Hello everyone. Today I have spent about seven hours decorating and glazing my ceramic sculpture in the garage. It's dark and a bit chilly (yes, English garage can be chilly even in mid-summer!) I bent down at awkward angle and got back aches. It was totally outside of 'health and safety' guidelines. I should improve working conditions, as I spend several hours in the garage every weekend. We will fire the kiln tomorrow morning, and will be able to open it on Monday. I hope they all will go well. There is one tricky one, a large chameleon with dodgy legs. My fingers are crossed for him!

Here I am going to report our second Olympic experience at eXcel.  Last Wednesday, we went to see women's free style wrestling. We chose this event because I knew Japanese women won gold medals in previous Olympics, and they have been very dominant.

We started our day with good news. One of the packets I sent Monday the week before was finally delivered. The Olympics seemed to have caused the delay, as the packet was for east London. We were so glad to hear the news!

We took our train and changed to Dockland light railway at Stratford International. We have never used DLR before. After about 11 minutes, we finally arrived at Custom house. There we found a half of Irish population! Green, green and green. Irish people at all ages in green clothes. Mike told me that there would be Irish boxer's match.  

eXcel entrance
Excel is huge. We were told to go to venue 10. We passed taekwondo, table tennis and boxing. We finally reached wrestling. Most Irish disappeared into boxing venue. Most Japanese went into wrestling.  
Japanese supporters and Irish supporters
We had good seats. The fourth row in front of ring A. There are three rings in the venue. In front of Mike, there was an American man who told us that the first two rows were occupied by the family of an American wrestler and that he bought a bundle of tickets.

Mike started having sandwiches as soon as he settled down. (We had already had sushi lunch in the train before we got here) I took photos and decided to do some warming up. I was a just spectator, but I was getting into the sport! As soon as the matches started, I gave the camera to Mike, and totally absorbed in them.
Happy Mike eating sandwiches.

I had never seen wrestling before even on TV. So imagine my surprise when I saw the rings were literally rings. They were round. They looked also so small. I remember my father watching pro-wrestling on TV when I was child. I remember very well that the ring was square and ropes around it.

There were three matches on three rings simultaneously. We watched one in front of us, at ring A, unless, of course, Japanese was fighting somewhere else. Here is Japanese wrestler, Obara. She was quick.
Japanese wrestler, Obara.
Obara's supporters. 
 There were two categories on that day. 48kg and 63 kg. Obara was in 48kg, and Icho was in 63 kg. Icho was super quick. Her fight was beautiful. There was no waste in her movement. I soon became her fan.

This fight was against Canadian. Both Japanese supporters and Canadian supporters were very loud. The whole place became so noisy. There was a young female Canadian supporter behind us. She had incredibly loud voice, not dissimilar to a foghorn! 
Kaori Icho, gold medalist in Athens and Beijing 
 Both Japanese went to quarter finals. Yeah!  From quarterfinals all fights were held in the ring B.
Obara pinning down Senegal woman. 

Icho against Swedish 
 Now both girls were in Semifinal. I was on the edge of the seat. The Russian guy near us kept begin given warnings from attendants because he didn't sit down, instead he had been on foot. That was a bit distracting.
Obara. if she wins, she would go to final....
  Obara won! I made as much as noise I could, but not much. lol

Icho at semi. She is steady and very quick. 
 Icho also won, too. My girls both went to finals! I was so happy. We would have to go back to see finals on TV.
Icho after her victory. 
There is nothing much around eXcel, so we went back to Stratford straight way. We had coffee and cakes with WiFi at Westfield. Then I found the message from my friend, Mimi, in Japan, in twitter. She said ' I spotted Mike and you on TV at Icho's match!'. I burst into laughing. I told Mike about her message. He also laughed, too.  Mimi was determined to find us on TV as soon as I told her we bought tickets. She really found us! I hope she enjoyed watching the match, too!

After a bit of shopping (I found very nice Middle Eastern confectionery), we headed back home. Here is the view from Stratford International. You can see the Olympic village where athletes stay.

Austrian flags on Olympic village. 

Stratford station
Once we were back home, we watched finals. Both Japanese girls won gold! What a day! I was ecstatic! Then, we checked our appearance on TV on streaming. Yes, we spotted Mike eating sandwiches and  me doing stretching before the matches at an introductory part. We were in the camera line, so we repeatedly appeared here and there. So funny! There was no one in front of my seat for the most of the time. So from the camera angle, Mike's face was clearly on TV.  He looked handsome and young.  So did I. We both looked 10 years younger!


  1. 伊調選手と小原選手の試合みられたんですねー!

  2. 日本のプロレスしか知らなかったので、リングが丸くて小さくて驚きました。笑 迫力ありましたよ。両選手とも強かったですが、伊調選手は動きに無駄無く、惚れ惚れしました。