2000 Bulgarian Olympian Christian Ivanov continues his blog, "London Calling," for International Gymnast Online, through which he will be sharing his experiences visiting the Olympic host city.
Aug. 1: Kings of England!
What makes the Olympic Games so magical is that it's more than just one sport. It's basically every sport! For all the excitement we have in gymnastics following every development happening at the O2, the same thrill is happening with 25 other sports around London!
I had a Center Court ticket for today's tennis rounds and therefore I spent the entire day at Wimbledon. The Olympic tournament is being held at the grounds where the prestigious Wimbledon tournament takes place every year. Wow. Being a huge tennis fan I can say that today was heaven for me! This was my first visit to this historic location, and of course the moment of entering Center Court was truly magical. In addition, the grounds are so uniquely developed with all the courts being placed at different levels and overseeing each other... it is an astonishing sight!
Me at Wimbledon - a tennis fan's dream come true
I had a chance to watch the play of the best players in the world. The center court scheduled matches featuring tennis stars Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and local favorite Andy Murray, all of which won their rounds. In addition, I spotted some of the other tennis stars either in action playing their match on a lower-numbered court, or playing a doubles match or just training. Maria Sharapova was in action, as well as Berdych, Isner, Del Potro, Kvitova and a few others that you probably need to be a tennis fan to about.
But what mostly made my day very special is to be able to watch in action the best player ever in this sport. The Swiss super star, No. 1 ranked player in the world, Roger Federer, holds a gazillion records in tennis. I think I know them all, but if you want to check them out here is the link. Sadly for me Federer was scheduled to play his singles match at Court 1, therefore, I couldn't watch it (he won). However, later in the day he was scheduled to play his doubles match on Court 18, a court that has open seating on first-come first-serve basis. Of course I made it to the stands and from the moment of his introduction on court to the last eyesight I had on him it was a thrill watching the brilliance of the greatest ever!
At the O2 arena, in action was another greatest ever, the Japanese Kohei Uchimura. Unfortunately, I had to miss the all-around men's final to be at Wimbledon, but thanks to a friend I was getting play-by-play updates via texts on the gymnastics meet and I was at the egde of my seat for two sports at once. After his third consecutive world all-around title last year the debate of Uchimura being the best ever was introduced. But some would have argued that this recognition would not be viable without an Olympic gold. I believe Uchimura has been undefeated in the all-around since the 2008 Olympics where he got second. Now with King Kohei deservingly winning the gold tonight, just like Roger Federer, he has perhaps earned himself the status of the "best ever!" What is even more remarkable is that both Roger and Kohei are so brilliant in what they do that is scary to think of what their future accomplishments might be. Neither are ready to bow out and I certainly hope that they will share their brilliance with us for a few more years ahead!
It's not out of the question that we could see Kohei Uchimura in 2016 and 2020!
Roger Federer - the Kohei Uchimura of tennis!