Olympics - the first weekend

Despite a major shift round of furniture in my house this weekend, I found time to enjoy a lot of the Olympics at the weekend.

I'm not surprised that the brilliantly mad opening ceremony has been controversial, but I can only say that my family enjoyed it and I'm still chuckling at Rowan Atkinson's hijack of Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO playing "Chariots of Fire" - particularly the expression on Sir Simon's face as Mr Bean comes out of his dream which was as good a piece of acting as Rowan Atkinson's - and the Queen parachuting in with James Bond. (Bet Her Majesty enjoyed the chance to say "Good Evening Mr Bond.")

My wife has suggested that the producers of the TV or Film awards for this year could have some fun with the nominations for  a "best newcomer" award from the Olympics.

And then to the games themselves and already some fine performances by sportmen from many countries including Britain.

Particular congratulations to Lizzie Armistead for her silver medal in the ladies the cycling road race and to Rebecca Adlington for her 400 metres freestyle bronze medal. (links: cyclist Lizzie Armistead wins first medal for Britain  and Rebecca Adlington wins bronze in the 400 metres freestyle.)

The unexpected often happens in sport and we can take for granted that some people from team GB who were regarded as strong contenders for a medal will miss out on a podium appearance while there may be others who were regarded as an outside chance who get there.

When this happens I hope that other GB competitors and the media will take their cue from a true olympian, Hannah Miley, who came fifth in the race in which 16 year old Shiwen Lee carried off the gold with a magnificent record-breaking performance.

When the inevitable microphone we put in front of her Hannah Miley noted that she had done well to reach the final and improve on her place in the previous international competition, said that she was satisfied that she had given it 100% and thanked people in Britain for their support.

What a wonderful contrast to the dreadful display of whining which the press - and I blame the media in general and the BBC in particular rather than the athletes which is why I'm not even going to name the event - put on after Team GB missed out on the medals in a certain other competion.

Perhaps the media should remember Kipling, "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those twin imposters just the same."

I did like BoJo's piece in the Telegraph, 20 jolly good reasons to feel cheerful about the Games which you can read here.


jim said…
Often i critise the press for their commentry, and also i think they are putting far too much pressure on people to win medals.

If they win then great, if they dont, then fine.

One thing i will say though in favour of the BBC is that its good to have the multi-screen red button thingy, so you can choose the event you want to see. Normally with the games then just as the fencing is getting good, they swiitch to the gynastics or the Judo. (understand that they do it to try and cover all of it) but the red button is a handy thing once the main screen has highlighted something really interesting.

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