I've been looking forward to going to the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games since securing the tickets a few weeks ago. Sometimes the anticipation is better than the actuality but that was definitely not the case and I feel so fortunate to have been part of it.
Even the travel to and from the Olympic Park was not as bad as I had imagined it would be, although I didn't get home until just before 1am… an early night for me!
For once I had remembered to take a camera, and not just any camera. I managed to 'borrow' the TSV from last weekend so that I would be able to zoom in and get some good shots and, as you will see from the pictures of Rhianna, Chris Martin, and Ellie Simmonds with Johnnie Peacock just prior to extinguishing the Olympic flame, it did the business.
It was also a handy size to fit into my Kipling cross body bag… I was a walking advert for QVC!! We had a wander around the Olympic Park before going into the stadium, although in truth there wasn't much open, which was the only negative of the whole experience.
Daniel and Sophie couldn't resist doing the 'mobot' and the 'Usain Bolt' and I thought the picture of me with the stadium behind me looked like I was wearing it as a crown, not to mention my 'beehive-like' hairdo as I posed in front of the 'Orbit'.
Posing aside, I thought the ceremony itself was fab. I have heard people say it was more like a Coldplay concert but as I love Coldplay, that was fine by me. Although I had heard a rumour that Rhianna might be appearing, Jay-z was an unexpected bonus!
There were some spectacular moments from the aerial performers and the guy riding the motorbike on the high wire with the girl suspended beneath him set off on his daredevil manoeuvres from just over my right shoulder.
We had a great view of all the 'fiery' machines as they made their way into the stadium, and I made Sophie laugh when I described the black feathered stilt walkers as weird. "And the rest of it isn't?" she asked. It was a bit weird, but very wonderful too. One of the highlights of the evening for me was when the Korean doctor was handing out awards.
Like myself, she was a polio sufferer and although she stood to make the presentations, she left the stage in a wheelchair. I felt very emotional as I was reminded how lucky I am that my disability is limited to a weakened left leg, but it also made me realise that disability is not something to be ashamed of. The Paralympics was a celebration of triumphing against all the odds.
Boris was brilliant with his flag waving again, and Lord Coe's speech said it all. We should all be immensely proud of the best Paralympic Games ever… I know I am.
So now it is all over, although Andy Murray managed to continue our fantastic Summer for British sport by winning the U.S. Open. What an achievement, and probably one he will now have the confidence to repeat… even his coach Ivan Lendl 'almost' managed a smile!
So it's back to earth with a bump as we all go back to our day to day lives. I'm very grateful that mine involves me working with some terrific guests, one of whom you will see tomorrow during my 'Fashion on Friday' show on our New York event day at 5pm. It's none other than former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammed Ali's daughter. Khalia. She is bringing her fashion range to QVC tomorrow for the first time so hope to see you there.
Much love Julia xx
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