The Olympics (for the last time) & Win Afternoon Tea with Clare Balding at the Ritz

How was the Olympics for you?

I thought it was terrific – that wonderful opening ceremony, the wall to wall coverage by the BBC and the buckets of gold medals for Team GB. Last weekend I was lucky enough to get down to London to experience things for real. We stood outside Buckingham Palace in the pouring rain to watch the women’s Marathon and the following day saw Synchronised Swimming Duets at the Aquatic Centre in Olympic Park.

Inside the Aquatic Centre, London 2012

Inside the Aquatic Centre

Both places exuded a real ‘feel good’ atmosphere. Everyone was friendly, including fellow spectators, volunteers, police, London transport staff etc. It’s a shame that we can’t bottle this ‘proud to be British’ feeling so that we can take another swig when the doom and gloom of the double-dip recession hits home again.

Thank you, LOCOG for an amazing 2 weeks (and I don’t usually follow any sort of sport).

Clare Balding has played a major part in bringing these Games into our living rooms and, as well as being a sports commentator, she is also a writer. Her book, My Animals and Other Family, will be published on September 13th 2012. The book includes anecdotes from Clare’s childhood about her pets and she has organised a competition to celebrate its launch.

She wants to see your pictures, stories and poems about the pets that have touched you. The winners receive copies of My Animals and Other Family, and one winner will join Clare for tea at The Ritz.

To enter, go to Alternatively, you can email entries to

Closing date is September 13th 2012 and entry is free. Full terms and conditions are here.

So if you’ve got a poem tucked away about your beloved dog, cat or tarantula, why not send it in?


  1. #1 by susanjanejones on August 12, 2012 - 5:00 pm

    I agree that Clare is a great presenter Sally. I’m sure her book will be good fun, just like she is. I’ve loved the games, and as Helen said on her post, I think we should take the competitors example; they’ve shown us what can be achieved with hard work. We should all aim high, work hard, and keep trying.

  2. #3 by shirleyelmokadem on August 13, 2012 - 9:09 am

    I thought it was all amazing and I wished that I could have been at one of the events to soak up the atmosphere. It just shows how well we can all get on when we want to. Smile everyone!

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on August 13, 2012 - 12:25 pm

      I agree, Shirley – let’s keep this friendly mood going!

  3. #5 by Fiona Johnston on August 13, 2012 - 2:51 pm

    Although I watched the highlights here and there, one could not help but be swept along with the Olympic fever. We’ll miss it until the dust settles down, a great measure of its success. OK Brazil, rise to the challenge and beat this in 2016

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on August 13, 2012 - 7:17 pm

      It does feel empty without the Olympics today, Fiona. I wish we could be the hosts again in 2016 instead of Rio!

  4. #7 by Anne Harvey on August 21, 2012 - 6:41 pm

    Don’t forget, everyone, that we need to support the Paralympics as well. They are so deserving and inspiring.

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