Saturday, July 21, 2012

Eric the Eel : Olympics Most Amazing Moments

An amusing programme on BBC picking the 50 most memorable filmed moments in the Olympics had me applauding Eric Moussambami from Equatorial Guinea, easily my favourite out of the 50. The poor dude hadn't learned to swim 8 months before the Olympics but due to a wild card selection to encourage the sport for less developed countries , qualified for the Olympics and endeavoured to train himself in a hotel swimming pool on his own without a coach. He almost didn't finish his event but in the spirit of Olympics, as the 100m was further than he ever trained in his life , added on to the fact he had never stepped into an Olympic pool, the crowd cheered him as if he was a winner. Best Olympic story more of it here

Saturday, July 14, 2012

London Prepares: The Greatest Show on Earth

Anticipation in the city is building; pink way-finding signs flood the London Underground, posters & advertisements picturing fameuex athlethes and sports-like themes all over, news on the media day-in-day-out on the preparations - the whole concentric effort towards the greatest show on earth is generating a new kind of energy despite the tired economic situation. 

The media has been sensationalizing the negatives of the Olympics (because that's what the UK does best - moan) i.e. cracks in the M4 highway leading to Heathrow, long queues at the UK borders, the GS4 security firm fiasco etc. However this does not dampen national excitement as everyone puts the finishing touches on years of planning and effort.

Even during the company Town Hall talks, the leadership stressed on the big  'O'  and how much everyone is putting in i.e. building of new roads, installing 100 baggage screening machines, building an 'Olympic terminal', mobilising volunteers & reservists , all before the 'Olympic Embargo' period kicks in where works must come to a stop to receive the Olympics. Can't help feeling excited despite myself not directly participating in the Olympics. There was even an Usain Bolt wax figure greeting passenger arrivals in Terminal 5 yesterday.

At the Y, huge colourful posters and placards were put up which had terribly interesting content on the YMCA and its contribution to sports and the Olympics. I had no idea that basketball and volleyball were invented in the Y by enterprising and sports-minded American Christian men and women. And that at one point of time (1920s), the Inter-Allied sports organised by the YMCA was so successful that the IOC committee felt that it was in direct competition with the Olympic games. Olympians are still being  nurtured and still training in YMCAs all over the world.

As for myself, I shall be witnessing it first hand - have got tickets to watch Taekwondo (although I know nothing of the sport). Can't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity as it marches right up to my door step.

And as London prepares, so will I - "Citius, Altius, Fortius"