3rd August 2012 Lima, Peru

Beggars… can be choosers!!

Annabella Matute, Chevening scholar from Peru at the Olympic Park

By Annabella Matute, Chevening scholar

For weeks until now I had been feeling like the Peruvian female version of David Beckham. Yes, despite my passion for sports and my increasing enthusiasm for the Olympics I was being left out of the biggest event in town: London 2012. If I have to be fair, my exclusion from the Olympics up to that point might have been self –inflicted due to my own procrastination. I just couldn’t bear endless hours in front of the computer to apply for a ticket to find out that the only available one was for Greco Roman wrestling… I wanted to see Team GB in action, and my beloved Peruvian compatriots.

As the time approached and the Mayor of London kept reminding us all that over a million tourists would soon fly to the shores of England, my excitement grew bigger. The torch finally came to Britain, and the daily news reported its whereabouts and its famous bearers such as Zara Phillips along with those not so famous from the local communities. Here was my chance at last to get a glimpse of the Olympics!

Meanwhile, shops (I often wonder whether out of their love for sports or marketing) and the “normal passer-by” soon got hooked on the excitement. John Lewis’s Oxford Street flagship store “wrapped” itself in an Olympic Union Jack flag and hundreds of colourful flags from the participating nations paraded in Regent Street, whilst tickets for the most coveted sports: athletics, swimming, gymnastics and soon for just any sport were selling quickly.

I knew I needed a miracle if I was going to get any ticket to see Team GB (Peru’s delegation was still not confirmed and the clock was ticking!!), “ask and you will receive”.

In the midst of my expectation, by now turning into disappointment, the miracle happened!

British people are known for being kind, and as my birthday was approaching (28th July for the record), a good friend of mine (from now on, a true gentleman) offered to treat me to the Olympic tennis at Wimbledon. I could now see the likes of Murray, Federer, Serena Williams, Sharapova and Nadal…not bad for someone who never applied for a ticket, eh?

This actually unleashed the blessings that were to follow, as soon after that I got to see the torch being carried by Chelsea player Fabrice  Mwamba on the front row.

Did I get to see team GB in action? Very much so! Courtesy of an old Warwick colleague with a last minute spare ticket for the basketball match at the Olympic Park. Mission accomplished…

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