Last Thursday I went to watch an evening’s worth of events at the 2012 European Athletics Championships with Simon, a friend who also happens to be a fellow South African. The competition was held at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium, a venue built for the 1940 Summer Olympics (which were cancelled due to World War II) and subsequently used during the 1952 Summer Olympics. It is a lovely stadium (capacity ~ 40’000) with simple design and a good atmosphere – and while the seats were surprisingly hard, I think it must be a great place to watch any sort of sport.

The Helsinki Olympic Stadium, during the 2012 European Athletics Championships


It was fun to be watching the men’s javelin final, because three Finns were competing… and the crowd was really excited to see Ari Mannio take the bronze medal. By the end of the evening there were so many interesting events happening simultaneously it was difficult to know where to watch. One highlight was seeing the men’s and women’s 100 m finals – watching the event “live” gave me a much clearer idea of how fast those athletes actually run.


Many thanks to Simon for the invitation!


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