London 2012 Olympic photos: last day, men’s marathon, Victoria Park

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The final day of the 2012 Olympic Games, with the sun shining again and lots of folk out on the streets to enjoy the marathon from wherever they could find a vantage point. I caught a little bit of running action, then
headed along Embankment and past Belgium House. A little further was Case Brasil, where a large exhibition held Brazilian art, information about the 2016 Games and what’s being done in Rio to get ready. (You could hold the Rio 2016 brand in your hand! Very exciting.)

Finally a first visit to an official Live Site since Edinburgh some two weeks earlier and then the Park Live site within the Olympic Park. The Victoria Park experience was carefully controlled (hence a rapid scoffing of sandwiches outside the entrance before they were confiscated). There were several screens up, with lots of folk lounging around in the warmth. I was tempted to stay on for the closing ceremony, but the warmth and comfort of home was too tempting. There were many who did watch it from there though – I was going against the tide on my way back to the tube station.

It’s hard to know what to make of the Victoria Park live site experience. I’ve head these places described as being on a ‘music festival’ model, with stages, food stalls, over priced beer and parched grass. I suppose that’s a reasonable analogy, although visitors know that the live site experience is only a second hand experience – you don’t get that feeling at music festival with live performances. There’s also a lack of the usual peripheral attractions at a festival, with little choice of food, few tents and stalls to have a look at and not a lot laid on to encourage people to make new friends. This was an opportunity to sit and watch sport from the commercialised comfort of baked earth and tired grass, which I guess is why I head back to a comfy sofa for the bizarre closing extravaganza.