Finally managed to score tickets for goal-ball yesterday AM. It’s a sort of sitting down football played by blindfolded teams of 3 a side. The session was a 9am game and possibly given the early start (it was recommended to get there an hour before, due to airport-style security) the venue was empty in chunks at the start of the three matches but by the last one, where GB was playing, it had filled up almost to capacity with just the bloc of seats for athletes and their families not all occupied. Although GB were beaten 7-1 by Turkey, it was an electrifying game. Found the atmosphere inside the complex at large most noteworthy – akin to that at a pop festival.

I have to confess the near-monopoly position enjoyed by the mega-sponsor McDonalds meant that my party and I ended up lunching in their biggest branch on earth which was not just big but fit to bursting, with queues snaking around the block. Quite an experience in Taylorism with multiple lanes for order taking, paying and even a slow queue among the for people wanting to decide at a more leisuredly pace rather than knowing what they wanted when they walked in.

Also lots of pop music throught the sport we watched. At every goal “Song 2″ by Blur was played (the “wooh-hoo” bit) and in between games “London Calling” by the Clash inspired a clap-along. Given the union jacks being waveed it was a bit like a punked up Last Night of the Proms. Also¬† Labyrnith’s “Earthquake”, “Pass out” by Tinie Tempah and Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here Right Now” soundtracked goal-ball. My mum, who was with us, found it a racket but then as a kid I found the music she played unlistenable din myself.

For more on goal-ball see here. Note the omni-prescense of the sponsors names including the villains of the piece ATOS – boo hiss.

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