WELCOME TO ... errr WIMBLEDON OLYMPIC STYLE
Jul 26, 2012, 1:47:19 PM | by
I can now say I have attended Wimbledon 31 times. It seemed like just the other day we were at the All England Club for The Championships when, over the two weeks, the weather drove us nuts and the lack of use of the...
I can now say I have attended Wimbledon 31 times. It seemed like just the other day we were at the All England Club for The Championships when, over the two weeks, the weather drove us nuts and the lack of use of the retractable roof over Centre Court made us even more frustrated. Obviously this latest reason for being at Wimbledon is for the Olympic Games and what a weird feeling it is to be here. To be able to go through certain areas that are out of bounds during the tournament while other areas one is used to going through are now out of bounds. The weather is also quite glorious with hot, sunny days and cloudless skies. As I said a moment ago, that’s weird in itself after all the rain and interruptions we went through during the tournament fortnight. The grass courts look positively amazing. The groundsmen have done an incredible job in getting them to the state they look like the first day of The Championships. They grass looks as smooth as a billiard table and so incredibly lush. In one sense maybe the rain earlier in the month was a bit of a godsend as it would have helped with the regeneration of the turf. What is tough to get over is the colour around the place. The petunia pink (I have no idea what the official colour name is but you can get an idea as it’s one of the basic colours for London 2012) signs and the same colour around the court parameters is taking a bit to get used to. The Centre Court, which is so iconic and traditional and never changes, feels strange to see. It is almost bemusing. The All England Club is so protective of the place but they have absolutely no say in what happens here at the moment. I believe even the most senior of executives have lost their offices to Olympic people. One thing though is that this was the first venue to be ready for the Games. Not as the O2 Arena (which hosts the ATP World Tour Finals in November) has tried to boast the last couple of years saying it was the first completed venue. My correction to that place’s management fell on deaf ears. The AELTC was built in the 1920’s; the O2 was built for the Millennium about eight decades after the Club. It is also so weird to see army people in their camouflage gear wandering around the grounds for added security; normally it’s the fire brigade and services people offering their service as ushers. It’s amusing to see the transformation but through it all the grass courts look as glorious as they do on the first day of the world’s most prestigious tennis event, Wimbledon. Let’s hope during the media ceremonies and the player interdictions that the flags and national anthems are all correct. At least there are no players from North Korea, or South Korea for that matter to get those flags mixed up again at London 2012.