hawkeye (hawkeye7) wrote,

Paralympic Games

I am currently in London for the Paralympic Games.

Typically, I get up at about six, have breakfast at 7 and a daily briefing over breakfast in the hotel. Then I head into the Main Press Centre (MPC), and thence to the venues.

I have access to every venue, every game. I go through a separate entrance to the public and sit at benches with internet and monitors. I don't ever have to queue to get in (as the media has its own entrances) and almost always have good seats. I am writing this from the front row of the Main Arena right new the finish line. The arena is packed. I highly recommend it as a way of seeing sporting events. We still have to go through security constantly. The laptop gets X-rayed up to six times a day. The police in this country carry submachineguns.

Our oyster cards give us unlimited access to the public transport system, and there are special media buses between the MPC and the venues. We don't have access to the car fleet, although sometimes one of the big wigs gives us a lift in their car.

We have complete access to public areas, press areas and the MPC, but we cannot access the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) or Paralympic Family Areas (PFA). We have strictly limited access to the Paralympic Village and the so-called Mixed zones, where we can talk to the athletes. Most of them are the nicest people you'd ever meet. However, I have toured the Australian areas there. They have an awesome setup, with all manner of facilities.

Normally, we go and see something in the morning, have lunch, go and see something in the afternoon, have dinner, and go and see something in the evening. We conduct interviews and file stories. I have to transcribe interviews all the time.

We are encouraged to see as many events as possible, even if Australia is not competing. So I've been out to Greenwich to see the horses, out to Woolwich to see the shooting and archery, out to ExCeL for the volleyball and bocce, the North Greenwich Arena (NGA) for the wheelchair basketball. We travel from ExCeL to the NGA in a cable car over the Thames using our Oyster cards.

At Olympic Park there is the main arena for athletics, the Riverbank Arena for football, the Copper Box for goalball, the velodrome for cycling, and the basketball arena. The basketball is now into the finals, though, so it has moved to NGA and the basketball arena is hosting the wheelchair rugby I've tried to catch every game of basketball the Aussie (Gliders and Rollers) have played. The worst venue is the pool. We have to sit a mile up and the public is in the forty rows above us. I have to sing Advance Australia Fair every day. Hopefully, no one can hear me.
Tags: sports
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