The Best Night Ever

05th August 2012
For the first time since 1994 I entered a sporting stadium with a ticket, not accreditation. I joined the queues for security rather than flash my pass to the fast track entry and I huddled under an umbrella when it poured because I didn't have an IBC (International Broadcast Centre) to shelter in.

After meeting up with friends who are working at the Olympics and showing signs of mid-Games fatigue, I entered the London 2012 Olympic Stadium and was immediately overwhelmed by the noise of the crowd. It wasn't as if anything was even happening, the announcer was just introducing the competition schedule on the big screen. Little did I know that this was just a murmur in comparison to what would come later.

I sat halfway down the back straight, three rows from the track, directly behind the long jump coaches. I was next to a woman who unpacked a four pack of muffins and began eating the first one before competition even started. Despite this, it turned out to be the perfect spot to watch the story of Britain's second gold unfold. (I haven't forgotten the first, it's coming later.)



As Greg Rutherford and Chris Tomlinson battled it out, their coaches suggested minor tweaks accompanied with arm waving and nodding. The crowd did their bit, clapping in unison helping the competitors with rhythm, momentum and drive.



There can only be one winner and as Rutherford leapt to victory, it was disappointing not to see Tomlinson hang onto silver. As for the woman v food sideshow, I probably don't need to tell you who was winning at this stage (2.5 down, 1.5 to go.)



The long jump competition was interrupted by track events. Not any old track events, but the Heptathlon 800m and the Men's 10,000m Final. As Jess Ennis began the first of her two laps, the crowd exploded into a roar like I've never heard before. Each stride she took was accompanied by a wave of sound that picked her up and lifted her, like a surfer riding a wave. Gold medal number one. I've never experienced anything like it.


Jess is amazing.
As is Mo Farah.
"Go Mo!"

And he did. Another Brit surfing that wave of sound that every one of the competitors mentions when they speak to the best reporter on the best night ever, Phil Jones. Gold medal 3 safely in the bank. Oh, and 3 down, 1 to go for those of you still interested in the muffins.



I don't think Jess or Mo really had a choice about winning gold. The crowd wouldn't have allowed them to finish anywhere but first. Greg's victory was an unexpected bonus that made the night. With the muffins gone and Jess' medal safely round her neck it was time to leave the stadium, still buzzing and knowing how privileged I am to have been at the greatest night of athletics ever. Thanks to my brilliant friend who made it happen. 2 hours after leaving the Olympic Stadium my ears were still ringing. If it's possible to give a sound a colour, I'd say it was golden.