The 2012 Olympics - Days 6-10

Published August 7, 2012

As with my previous post, here are just some random thoughts from the last few days of competition.

  • The Men’s 400m final was brilliant. Not only were there twins in the race, but they crossed the line at almost exactly the same time! They came 5th and 6th and were just two hundredths of a second apart!
  • Of course, you can’t talk about brothers without mentioning the Brownlee duo who finished the Men’s Triathlon in gold and bronze positions. A fact someone was kicking about at work was that if the Brownlee family was a country, they’d have been 36th in the medal table.
  • Ridiculously happy that Beth Tweddle got a medal. After such a great career and kickstarting gymnastics in this country, she deserved it. A little sad it wasn’t of a different colour, because we know she could produce the goods after her bars performance in qualifying, but still. A medal!
  • We made the silly mistake of going out this weekend, which meant we had to find a bar to watch Jess Ennis secure her gold medal. Sitting in front of a TV screen with very low volume, Mr C and myself plus a few other people gathered to watch her cross the line in the 800m in first place. There was polite clapping. I’d secretly hoped for cheering, but there weren’t very many of us so clapping was the best we could do.
  • I’m a little bit confused by the sports that have such a long endurance-style event - tennis, football, hockey. All these group fixtures and rounds seem immensely unfair. For example, the weightlifting, athletics, hockey - you get one day or one night to prove you can do what you do and that’s it. A medal rests on your performance on that day and you have to live with the result. Heats and semi-finals to knock the number of competitors down are fine, but these sports that are like mini-tournaments just don’t seem in-keeping with the same philosophy.
  • Bit disappointed in the cycling. After getting confused with the pelican, I was looking forward to the action in the velodrome before realising there are no normal races. If it’s not slipstreaming this and that, it’s following an old guy on a pace bike, or playing cat and mouse. What happened to good old fashioned pedalling as fast as you can until you cross the line?
  • For the first few days, I was a bit overwhelmed with all the choice, and ultimately came to the conclusion that there was too much! I was trying to catch up with things I’d missed during the day whilst the action was still going on, watching two screens at once and mostly coming back with very little taken in. In the end, I realised that what I needed to do was tune in to BBC1 HD and let Gary Lineker talk me through everything I needed to know. Once I relaxed into that, it’s been a gazillion times better. Who knew there really could be too much choice?
  • In my last post, I said it was a great feeling when we won that first gold medal, because we weren’t always winning them all the time. Our first taste of metal was glorious and created a real buzz. Since then, they’ve been flooding in and we’re now sitting third in the medal table! I don’t understand what it is to be a country that wins stuff! Of course, there are still the more manageable moments where we go out of the football on penalties but this is a new, inspired Britain! I’m assuming the home advantage is playing a big part in this and in Rio things will be more normal, but even so, it does seem like we’re getting good at this crazy sporting business.

Unreal to think that there are just, at time of posting (Day 11), there are only five days left!

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