Monday, 2 November 2015

ON TOP OF THE WORLDS

A Spectator's view of Glasgow 2015

Having never been to an international gymnastics competition, it is hard to describe how excited I was about going to to the Glasgow 2015 World Championships. I have been to a few of the British Championships in recent years, but the thought of seeing all my favourites competing on the World stage was enough to make me giddy with excitement.

Having booked early (the second the tickets went on sale) we had good seats for both the WAG Team final and All Around final. Entering the Hydro Arena was in itself an excitement, already buzzing with action before the start of competition. Then, walking into the auditorium itself and seeing the apparatus laid out was such a thrill, even without the gymnasts there yet! Front row seats for the Team final gave us incredible views of all four apparatus, with beam and floor literally in front of us, the vault table at our end of the arena and a good side view of the bars.
For the All Around final, our seats were equally as good, being merely two rows further back in the same block. The atmosphere in the arena was fantastic on both nights and it was great to hear so much support as they gymnasts were announced and brought out on to the stage.

What made it so enjoyable for me was not only to see the stars of the sport up close, but to see just how much presence they had in such a large arena. Their level of skill and more especially the height they have is so much more apparent in person. Being an international event, it was also lovely to see the different styles of gymnastics, from the different countries competing, from the power of the Americans to the stylishness of the Russians to the pure grace and elegance of the Netherlands. Seeing all of the girls competing side by side really showed off their particular strengths and skills.

The competition itself was very easy to follow, thanks to the (very) big screen at the front of the arena. As well as showing video footage in the centre of the screen, the left hand side showed who was up on each piece of apparatus and gave their score, whilst the right hand side gave the overall standings with points differences. It made it so much easier to keep track of how well each team or gymnast was doing, so much more so than other competitions I have been to, and this in itself made the whole experience much more enjoyable.

It was, of course, incredible not only to be there as a British spectator at a home games, but also to watch the GB girls making history with their first ever team medal. The noise of the crowd was unbelievable and there was not a single dry eye in our row of seats. To be there the day that history was made is something that I will never forget.

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