the defining feature of these olympics/paralympics has been the crowd noise reserved for british competitors - generally somewhere between a large aircraft and beatlemania, an unending circular-breathing roar. athletes say that their ears ring afterwards. babies in the velodrome require industrial ear protectors [below, after sarah storey's second gold]:
coaches say they couldn't have prepared their athletes for it. cyclists and track athletes are thriving on it, the team GB swimmers seemed to be spooked [but ellie simmonds is doing fine]. how the horses in the equestrian events managed i'm not sure. the rowing wall of sound - 30000 people going nuts - was not what one expects for a quiet-day-on-the-river pastime. i keep reaching for my headphones, turning the volume up and playing the highlight clips over and over just to listen to the crowd. i wish there was a way to turn the commentators off.