The Anonymous Widower

The Greatest British Olympian Ever

With the retirement of Sir Chris Hoy, who numerically is our greatest Olympian, the debate is starting as to who is the greatest.

There are many worthies amongst my favourites, but then only one would be on a vote for the top ten greatest Olympians.

But that one Olympian does stand out.

I remember on the 6th of July 2005, sitting with C in the kitchen listening as Lord Coe put the final speech in London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics.

She was a barrister and said it was the finest plea in mitigation she’d ever heard. He delivered it superbly. You can read the speech and othe others here and  C was right.  it was written, so that if we failed in the bid, as was expected, then Princess Anne, Lord Coe, Ken Livingstone, Tessa Jowell, Denise Lewis and the others involved, could come home knowing that they’d given it a very good shot.

Fortunately, Lord Coe got the result most people really wanted and the rest as they say is history.

Many people did not ever see, Sebastian Coe running. I didn’t see his Olympic trumphs, but I did see him on the television many times in the 1980s. he had a grace and created excitement, like no other athlete of the period.

So as someone, who won gold medals on the track and gave us the magnificent  London 2012 Olympics, there can only be one choice for Britain’s greatest Olympian.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

Munich Olympic Park

I’ve been to several Olympic Parks and some like Montreal and Athens are not in the best of health. But Munich appears to be in use.

It is in my view one of the world’s most iconic sports stadia.

It is place full of tragedy and happiness.

I remember watching on television as the massacre at the Olympic village unfolded. Thankfully, no Olympics has seen anything like it since.

But there is a lesser tragedy entwined in the site and that is of one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes Lillian Board, who died in Munich of cancer, a couple of years before the 1972 Olympic Games. One of the paths on the site has been given her name. She was truly a multi-talented person, who represented her country at all distances up to a mile, and surely, she must be one of few people, who’ve received their MBE from the Queen, in a coat they’ve designed and made themselves.

Then there is the sadness and triumph in the medal tables on the honours board. Look at those of the women athletes and there is an awful lot of DDR and USSR. How many were clean?

But tucked in at the bottom is Mary Peters, who produced the performance of her life to win gold in the pentathlon. Of all the sporting events I’ve seen, both live and on television, her performance in Munich is in the top ten.

April 15, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Grandmother Of All Overspends

it is being reported that the overspend on the Sochi Winter Olympics is approaching £335 million in several places.  Read about it here in the Bangkok Post.

The Times is also reporting that they’ve got serious floods in Sochi.

It’s good that we had the Olympics last year, so now weather and cost overruns can’t effect them.

March 14, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Stratford Panorama From The Emirates Air-Line

The picture shows the Olympic Park from the Emirates Air-Line cable-car.

Stratford Panorama From The Emirates Air-Line

Stratford Panorama From The Emirates Air-Line

The mouth of the River Lee is in the foreground.

March 3, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

The London Aquatic Centre Is Changing!

The London Aquatic Centre is changing.

It will be opened fully in the summer of 2014.

Note how a lot of the seats have been reserved.

The picture was taken from a train on the East Anglian main line.

February 4, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Tea At The Olympic Park

After visiting Custom House Station, I decided to go for a tea at the ViewTube, by the Olympic Park. I went via Stratford rather than Poplar to Pudding Mill Lane station for the cafe, so that I could pick up a Standard at Stratford station.

The pictures show how the park is changing. The most noticeable change is probably the removal of the extra seats in the Aquatic Centre.

January 25, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

An Olympic Boost For Rare British Dogs

This article in the Independent suggests that those rarer British dog breeds like the English Setter have had a boost in 2012.

And the Olympics could be the reason!

I see a couple of English setters round here and they really are the friendliest of dogs. We also had two, when our children were in their teens and you rarely find one, that can’t get on extremely well with everybody and especially children.  They also don’t shed hair like other breeds, I could name.

January 25, 2013 Posted by | News, World | , | 1 Comment

The Tragic Fallout Of Doping Cheats

After the mega-cheat, Lance Armstrong’s theatrical performance, last night, Nicole Cooke this morning made an impassioned plea for the victims of  those, like the drug-fuelled Texan. She said, that she had lost medals because others cheated by doping when competing against her.

I remember the 1960s, when athletics was ruined by the Soviet Block, who took everything that a chemist could devise. Look at the career of our greatest-ever female sprinter; Kathy Smallwood-Cook, who  would be in a totally different league, if competition had been fair and square. It has always puzzled me, how Mary Peters ever won that pentathlon gold in the 1972 Munich Olympics.  If you look at the women’s athletics results at that games, few medallists are not from the Soviet Block. There are a few West German medals, but then they had home advantage and London 2012 showed how that helps drammatically. I do remember watching that pentathlon, with C on a terrible black and white television,  when Mary Peters, was almost willed over the high jump bar by masses of British troops based in Germany, who somehow had got tickets.

Where would the careers of some retired clean athletes be, if they had competed fair and square?

Cheats like Armstrong have a lot to answer for! He should be prosecuted for fraud and perhaps asked to spend some time in a nice cosy Texas jail.

January 18, 2013 Posted by | News, Sport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Gold Post Boxes In Leeds

I took this picture in Leeds on Saturday.

Two Gold Post Boxes In Leeds

Two Gold Post Boxes In Leeds

Someone must have won a gold medal at the Olympics. But then Yorkshire did better than Australia!

December 19, 2012 Posted by | Sport, World | , , | Leave a comment

The Olympics Come In £377 million Under Budget

This has just been announced and you can read about it here in the Independent.

Various commentators and politicians have said that this is all down to good project management.

Sadly, there is no credit given to those that started the project management software revolution in the 1970s. It is truly an unheralded mainly-British software development, of which I played a small part.

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Computing, News | , , , | Leave a comment