What a glorious year 2012 was for us – the Diamond Jubilee, Bradley Wiggins’s Tour de France victory, London 2012, Paralympics 2012, and most importantly, the world didn’t end. GLUE is lucky to be based in southwest London by the Thames, where many of the cool sporting events took place in the summer.
The year 2012 will be mostly remembered for the word ‘Legacy’. The success of Team GB Cycling at London 2012 has established that the sport is at par with football and cricket. We also saw that the public was just as passionate about the Paralympics, as they were with the Olympics. We are disappointed, of course, to hear about Lance Armstrong being stripped off his seven Tour de France titles. The doping culture in cycling certainly didn’t start with Armstrong and his contemporaries, but we do hope it ends with the public exposure of the TdF scandal.
Here are our best moments in photographs for 2012:
The University Boat Race
We watched the controversial race from the Surrey side at Thames Rowing Club boathouse at the Putney Embankment. I like the look of determination on the face of the 19-year Cambridge University cox, Edward Bosson, at the start of the race. The spectators spluttered their beer twice during the race. First, when the Oxford bow snapped his oar; and second, when an Australian toff-turned-Republican Trenton Oldfield stopped the race by swimming across race course. At the end of the race, the bowman of the Oxford crew passed out in the boat. It was shown live on the BBC. Residents around southwest London really love The Boat Race as it is an open and free annual event, so it was no surprise that Oldfield got booed by the crowd when he got nicked by the police.
The Diamond Jubilee Flotilla
Queen Elizabeth II is the only woman who could launch a thousand flotilla in the Thames. The Diamond Jubilee in May was one of the happiest celebrations in British history, and also a pre-cursor to the great sporting summer of 2012. The towns were decorated with streamers, flags and they held public lunches in the streets. I was lucky to have caught the beginning of flotilla procession at Wandsworth Bridge in Fulham, which was less busy than in the Westminster.
Drogba and Chelsea FC at UEFA Champions League 2012 victory parade
We don’t really follow football much, but we can’t escape it when living within minutes of three premiership clubs: Chelsea, Fulham and QPR. Pictured below is the Chelsea FC at their UEFA Champions League 2012 victory parade on New King’s Road, also Didier Drogba’s final celebration with the club. A few months later, Chelsea FC’s interim manager Roberto di Matteo was replaced by Rafael Benitez despite steering the club to double title success in 2012. That wound is still healing, I hear.
Tour de France 2012
OK, the photo below is not from Tour de France. That is Pangkor Island, near Lumut in Malaysia, where we followed the race online. The race was not broadcast on local telly and we didn’t subscribe to any cable network. So GLUE had to follow it on Twitter and the internet. We managed to follow the stages from the Telegraph Sport live blog coverage, which was awesome.
The Olympics 2012 Road Race
Unfortunately, Mark Cavendish couldn’t quite repeat his performance at Tour de France during the 2012 Olympics Men’s Road Race. But the event was still great to watch. The Women’s Road Race had lifted the spirits of supporters, when Lizzie Armitstead got the first silver medal for Team GB. It was well worth standing in the rain to capture the ladies on camera.
What can we say. Top dude. Bradley Wiggins is pictured below addressing the crowd at BT Live in Hyde Park. The crowd didn’t expect his presence, so it was a lovely surprise to see him up on stage. The BBC Sports provided excellent broadcast and online news coverage throughout the 2012 Olympics. We are glad we didn’t leave London during the Olympics.
I would say this is the shot that I took that changed my life. This was the final day of London Olympics 2012, and this marathon was the last race. The were many teary eyes when David Weir completed the race at The Mall. But it wasn’t only because of him – it was the witnessing of other disabled athletes participating and speaking out for the disabled population.
It is hard to find a totally quiet road for cyclists within London. We are still sharing with motorists in Richmond Park, but the sight of cyclists training around here is enough to make you want to join in. On top of that, you get to check out the deer too.