I have just arrived at the Bercy stadium and it is an impressive building from the outside, very close to the metro which only cost me 1.50 euro. Entering the stadium is a bit of a judo geeks dream! There is much to buy, from t-shirts, judo kits just about anything judo and more! The arena is shown above, bright colours and very noises, especially when French players come on. The screen above the tatami has a delay of about 5 sec which is great because we all know you miss half the throws 🙂
Anyway more shopping beckons, so more blogging later.
Everyone I have spoken too has said it is the best tournament with the best atmosphere in judo so i’m going to take a look.
Day one was travelling, most of the teambath people I am seeing here are travelling early Saturday morning but I thought I would leave on the Friday. I am writing this blog now from my hotel in Paris but have had quite a journey getting here! For those of you who cannot remember Friday 6th Feb just think of snow!! Yes that’s the day! I stood at the bus stop in Cambridge waiting for the coach and was informed there were no buses to Luton, not to panic I thought and promptly convinced some good looking ladies they should join me in a taxi and split the cost 🙂 Luton was chaos but eventually we flew and my journey began.
Arriving in Paris I had to do what every tourist does and navigate my way around the airport not understanding the language and to be honest this was relatively easy until I wanted to get the train to Bercy. I wanted to use the train because it was the cheapest mode of transport and I figured this is what most people will also do in 2012. I found my way, managed to ask the right people and to be honest it wasn’t that much hassle but it did remind me of the 2003 world championships in Osaka. The Japanese had a “judo stand” at the airport, the world champs logo all over it and there were people there who spoke many languages to help you and start of your “judo souvenir collection.” This was just little stickers and some fans but it did make you glad you had arrived and you could wait to get to the stadium. So my first tip – lets put judo people in very airport, we can get volunteers, lets say if a club does two days in the 5 days that proceed the competition the club get ? free tickets. I would definitely take some of my players down to Stansted for a few days to give out stickers and stuff and advise people.
The next part of my journey was not fun! Finding the hotel was a mission, walked for well over an hour and to be honest I wish I had got a taxi !! Maybe the judo stand at the airport could give out free maps!!
Right Im off to bed, hopefully ready to have a fun day and some British medals tomorrow.