A wonderful break in Oslo... and Bolt is back!

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The Bislett Games are a very special occasionThis was one Diamond League event that I had been looking forward to for ages - it definitely didn't disappoint.

From the moment we arrived in Oslo to the time we boarded our plane home, the experience was completely magical. There are a number of things you notice when staying in Oslo for the first time: the hospitality and service you receive is fantastic and we were always given a friendly smile with plenty of great advice on what to do and where to go. It could not have been better and everyone seemed so high on life - must be something in the Scandinavian air that gives the locals a great deal of positivity and enthusiasm!

Next it's the landscape and scenery around Norway's capital; it's truly breathtaking and there is so much to explore and investigate - from our boat trip into the fjords to the picturesque train journey up to Holmenkollen to visit the iconic ski jump tower, it's a feast for the senses. Lastly you can't fail to notice how clean and tidy everything is - when combined with a flair for contemporary design, it produces an array of awe-inspiring attractions and creations such as the Opera House on the waterfront, which has been designed to resemble an enormous glacier. You can stand on the 'roof' and marvel at the views in all directions.

Then there's the Bislett Games... and what a treat is was. You can't put your finger on what makes it so atmospheric but there's something extra-special about this old stadium that just makes the occasion even more memorable. Maybe it's the extremely close proximity of the track to the spectators, the quirky nature of its surroundings (a multitude of flats 'peer' into the stadium on all sides) or simply its illustrious history that includes over 20 world records.

Usain Bolt was the main attraction at this year's event and he delivered a stunning 200m run to delight all of the 15,000 crowd who had braved cold, but dry, conditions to catch a glimpse of the sprint phenomenon. Entering the stadium in a Formula 1-style car and belting around the track on his own before the action got underway was a spectacle few were expecting... Meseret Defar was hugely impressive in her world-leading 5000m effort and there were a number of decent performances elsewhere but for the full-on Diamond League deal you have to add Mr Bolt to proceedings. His pulling power is quite incredible and the man is quite simply an athletics deity at present. Rumour has it that he hired out an entire floor of the Thon Hotel Opera to entertain guests and, having seen him return to the hotel in person (with a group of friends) shortly after midnight, I would not be surprised if this was true! Meeting Seb Coe and Ivet Lalova made the trip for me (for totally different reasons of course) and it rounded off a superb night of athletics. 

Will I return to Oslo next summer? Maybe. Despite the ludicrous prices (a small beer cost anything up to £10) it was such an excellent trip that it would be so hard to resist...!

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