Saturday, May 15, 2010

Olympic travels around the world

I admit now, freely, that when the Olympic Games are on, you may find me declining social invitations. Although I'm not really a sports freak at all, watching the Olympics is something I've always enjoyed, and it's probably natural then that this carries over into my travels. So whenever I find myself in a city which has hosted an Olympic Games in the past, I try to do a spot of Olympic sightseeing.

Above, for example, is the ski jump used in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. I visited in spring instead of winter so there was no snow to be seen - but there are a lot rice paddies down belong! And now when I watch the ski jumpers I am suitably impressed because it's pretty scary to be right up the top there.

This ordinary-looking stadium is, of course, not so ordinary - it's the stadium from the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games in Spain. I remember very well watching these Olympics on television - I was in my final year of high school - and cheering for Australia as we won plenty of swimming and cycling medals (well, plenty for a country with a small population).

During my travels I've stopped into the Olympic remnants of the 1988 Seoul Olympics (they had a really interesting museum!), and toured the Olympic village and the swimming pool for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, too. I've seen a few contributors to the Commonwealth Games, too, but that's not really on a par with the Olympics I guess. And on my future travels I'll be on the lookout for more Olympics venues.

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