Our Paralympic Adventure Part 1 – Track Cycling

Four events in three days with 2 four and a half year olds. Insane? Definitely.

Our mad weekend started in the Velodrome on Friday morning. We hadn’t managed to get tickets for the track cycling during the Olympics and I was desperate to see some live action of our fantastic para-cyclists. We attended the cycling with my parents and we were all overawed by the venue. The optimum temperature for a velodrome is 28 degrees, so it was really warm in there. We were in the cheapest seats but the building was so well-designed that we had a great view of everything and really got a sense of what was going on, even though we were sitting in the back row.

R and G were hypnotised by the bikes whizzing around the track to start with. Television coverage doesn’t give you a sense of how bloody fast they go and how steep the banks of the track are. 42 degrees, fact fans. We all cheered like nutters when a Paralympics GB cyclist was on track, although R got into a right cob when our tandem cyclists were beaten and ‘only’ got a silver medal. “YOU CHEERED THEM” she berated us. She sat on Dh’s lap and pouted for about half an hour. R will only cheer GB competitors, maybe an Irish athlete at a push and simply can’t understand why we clap someone from another country. She is the most single-minded, competitive four-year-old I have ever met.

G and I played a game when the GB cyclists weren’t competing where we picked a cyclist to cheer, usually based on the colour of their outfit. G would then ask their name and the country for cheering purposes (she’s quite scary when she’s screaming ‘COME ON SPAAAAAIIIIIN’ at top volume) and she also wanted to know the flag for each country. Luckily I’m not too bad on flags, so was able to point out the correct one hanging from the Velodrome ceiling.

I knew that the cycling wouldn’t totally hold their attention for three hours so I took some distractions in the form of colouring books, crayons (of course) and stickers. They set about decorating their little GB flags and when they got a bit too restless I unleashed the iPad, which kept them occupied when the cyclists didn’t.

I was lucky enough to attend several Olympic events but none of them gave me the buzz that the cycling did. We all agreed that the Velodrome was our favourite venue. I liked the cycling at the Olympics. I loved it at the Paralympics. I think it may have even replaced the diving in my affections. Confession: one or two (well, one) of the cyclists have definitely replaced Mr Daley in my affections.