One bumper day at the London Paralympics

Finally, after weeks of intense TV watching (and, of course, our Olympic fun at beach volleyball, women’s Olympic footie at Wembley and Cardiff for the men – plus a little Paralympic dressage on the side) we finally got ourselves into that there Olympic Park on Wednesday, seeing out the summer with a bang – and Oscar Pistorius….

It was the last day of El’s school holiday and we sure did it in style with Paralympic wheelchair basketball all afternoon, followed by a night of scintillating and inspiring Paralympic athletics. Hard to know how we’ll ever have a day as thrilling as that again, but at least we’ve got the memories and (not to be dramatic, but) they will last forever.

Starting the day in style with a Cosmopolitan at the North Greenwich Arena (aka The O2): In true GB fashion, spectating at The Games revolved around eating and drinking for many (including me, natch)
All the drama: Packed stands in the NGA for the wheelchair basketball quarter finals
This, my friends, is a fine sport to watch – miles more exciting than football
The first game we saw was Germany vs USA
Next up, Team GB
The boys beat Turkey…just: It was a thriller, going down to the wire
El grins and bears it (his dad had just taken part in the “Dads dance off” – ooof)
There was a famous spectator in the crowd too… (hands up if you can spot Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex?)
That gorgeous Orbit can only mean one thing…
…and the skies were brilliant blue for us at our Olympic Park debut
As per every Olympic/Paralympic event, the volunteers, army and police were all super-friendly and helpful
I didn’t (my diet is holding out superbly well – apart from the Cosmopolitans). The boys did
El soaks up the atmosphere as we take to our seats in the East stand
This young man did some fabulous flag-waving
We had great seats for a thrilling night of athletic action
Here’s Johanna (yes, like me!) Benson from Namibia, winner of the women’s 200m (T37)
Benson pipped GB’s Bethany Woodward into silver medal position
Falling silent: During the T11 / T13 men’s relay, an event for athletes with visual impairment, 80,000 spectators kept it zipped until the final exchange had taken place – the cheers of such a huge crowd are one thing, the combined silence is another – spellbinding
Russia grabbed gold in the T11 / T13 event and the crowd gave them a rapturous reception during their lap of honour
As the sun set the tension in the stadium rose
Here’s why: It’s the men’s 4x100m relay, T42 / T46 class – featuring Mr. Oscar Pistorius
…and he only went and broke the world record with the South African team – get in
Brazil and the US took silver and bronze – only to be disqualified later. Heartbreaking for them
No one was taking this man’s medal: I could have grabbed a fantastic close up as Oscar ran by, but decided to watch with my own eyes (and scream “WE LOVE YOU OSCAR!”) instead
Post relay race, the Japanese athlete looked so dignified in defeat that I decided to include this pic
Not so dignified, we pose outside the stadium at the end of the day
Did we have a good time? Hell yeah
What a day/night – and if you’re enjoying the pink fluro with mohair (as I am) you can buy one for yourself at M&S if you like
Written by Johanna Payton