It seems a lifetime since London won the Olympic bid back in 2005, issues with ticket allocation and more recently security has slightly tarnished the build up, though not for me – this is inspirational stuff and it’s right here in Great Britain. I am right behind Team GB. The opening ceremony last night was really impressive, a true global performance for the UK, hats of to Danny Boyle and all those volunteers.
I understand and appreciate the commitment that those athletes invest to reach their goals; it’s about seriously hard work. I can imagine that the preparation for many athletes must be about as difficult as it gets for a sports person. I can imagine quite isolating too – certainly compared to a sport like football with the support of other players and a fair amount of staff. They must have unbelievable discipline.
I got thinking earlier today – if I had a chance of reaching gold (or just competing) in an Olympic event, what would my top three events be? I’m ignoring football on this occasion as that’s too obvious and also the 100m sprint – who wouldn’t want to be the fastest bloke on the planet!
Hammer throw - I strangely like watching this event and know so little about it. It captures my attention when it’s on, a bit like those strongman competitions on TV, I never set out to watch it but once I do, I can’t stop. The athletes’ technique is phenomenal; they’re spinning on the heel of one foot – that takes some real skill and power. Would I be good at this event? Probably not, but I’m up for a challenge, so with a few pointers I reckon that I could get the hammer shifting!
Boxing - I’ve always had an admiration for boxing and even more so the characters involved, they really make the sport what it is. Having had the chance to train with Ricky Hatton a few years back, it really opened by eyes to just how fit those guys are, a three-minute round is surprisingly difficult. Winning gold in boxing would be a personal reflection of your fitness and skill as a gladiator; let’s not forget the technical side of boxing, it’s as important as fitness and build. I’m routing for fellow Liverpudlian and GB boxing champ Tom Stalker, ranked number one in the world, cannot wait to see him go for gold.
Archery - I’ve tried my hand at archery, well kind of, it was a target 20 foot away at the fair and I failed miserably, but I really liked it. It’s the the stillness and the focus I think, it draws you in the more you try. So, I take my hat off to these guys – firing an arrow over 70 metres and with that accuracy is unreal. I’m sure nerves of steel (and a steady breath) are a fundamental.
Which three events would you want to win, or at least compete in, and why?