We attended a session of badminton at the Wembley Arena (adjacent to the famous Wembley stadium). I've attached a picture which shows the set up. Three separate matches were going on at the same time. We had great seats, about 8 rows from the floor and from the camera shot above, you can see which court we were closest to and thus the easiest to follow. The first match we saw involved the Chinese womens'team, which has now become embroiled in a scandal. We saw them win, and in their next round of play, they basically threw the match, hitting deliberately into the net. Apparently they wanted to set themselves up to get into a different pool which would favor multiple chances for China to win medals (China has more than one badminton team). When I heard this, I thought it was terrible. The athletes take an oath to do their best. There is no room for this type of poor play. Plus, think of all the spectators. They've paid top dollar to see good matches, and the Asian teams excel in this sport. So, today I was not surprised to hear that these players were disqualified. We all stand for fair play. Amen.
The other chat around London is the effect the games are having on the economy . . . or should I say the lack of effect. Shops are reporting a downturn in sales, apparently significantly. It turns out that "regular" tourists have stayed away during the games, and Olympic tourists aren't here to shop or take in historic sites. So, there's a bit of disappointment to merchants.
The British are ecstatic with the performance of their men's gymnastic team. It's the first time in 100 years that they have won a medal. Well done, blokes!
Tonight will be our first night in to actually watch live events on TV, and we're looking forward to some good swimming events.
Today was a trip to Downton Abbey (pictured); tomorrow is Paris.
As they'd say in Paris, a demain (until tomorrow)!