I'm a 31-year old woman who loves the Olympic Games so much that I've decided to attend every one for the rest of my life. The London 2012 Olympic Games will be my third straight Games as a spectator. I'm beginning to realize that not every avid traveler attends the Olympic Games. I have never competed at the Olympic Games, don't have any family members competing in the Games, and always travel to the Games alone. I've come to understand that my attendance is quite unique. Like most people, I first got hooked on the games in my living room, watching the 1992 Barcelona Olympics on television every single night. I even tried to convince my parents to buy the triple play package on cable so I could stay up all night and watch them live.
From 1996 until 2004, the Olympics and I drifted apart slightly, but we reconnected when I worked on Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Then something hit me. How could I convince the Olympic committee to give the Games to Chicago, if I hadn't even attended an Olympics myself?
I attended my first Olympic Games in 2008 in Beijing. Contrary to what most people think, I booked my trip just like I do any other international trip - booked the flight and hotel online and bought the Olympics tickets from an online vendor. Over the course of nine days, I climbed the Great Wall of China, saw Usain Bolt break a couple of world records, partied with athletes at the China Doll club, and facebooked from my phone so much that I came back to a $500 bill. I got hooked on the Games.
Unfortunately my zest after attending my first Olympic Games was short lived when the Olympic Committee decided to award the 2016 games to Rio De Janeiro in October of 2009.
If I share my experience at the London 2012 games with you, maybe I can convince you to make this trip at least once in your lifetime. Below are the eight reasons why you should start thinking about Rio 2016 right now, even before the London Games start.
Behind the scenes look at the cultural events at the Games, the country houses (Kenya house anyone?), the performances, and the art.
Articles about multicultural London and excerpts from my new ebook travel guide, Kiratiana's Travel Guide to Multicultural London. Interviews with athletes. They will be everywhere.
Extensive coverage of Track & Field. I'm so obsessed with the sport that I spent four months of my life as a track and field agent (now that would make a good blog post).
Tons of pictures of the London capturing the crazy costumes, architecture, athletes, food, the sights etc. You'll feel as if you were actually there, videos. I'm a self-conscious video blogger and beginning editor. But I'll get over my fear by the start of the Games.
Tips for planning you trip to the next Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. You know you want to go to Russia, right?
See you over the next two weeks.
Follow Kiratiana Freelon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kiratiana