So, the 2008 Olympics are done and dusted, with over 900 medals dished out to happy sportsmen and women from across the world.

There are some Beijing honours, however, that are yet to be awarded. Let's make them public without further ado.

Feel free to add a few categories of your own down below. Who knows - Jacques Rogge might be reading over his breakfast croissant and take note.


Most impressive move
Two contenders: Usain Bolt, for his jerky dancehall moves around his golden spikes after those three record-breaking runs, and Usain Bolt, for presenting Yelena Isinbeyeva with the flowers from his 100m victory ceremony. Smooth.

Most widely circulated conspiracy theory
"I swear, I seen the photo - there was no way that Michael Phelps touches the wall before that Serbian bloke in the butterfly final. Honest to God. Massive stitch-up. The Americans is behind it - I read it on the internet. And the Chinese - they're in this too, cos they wanted the publicity. And Omega. And Speedo. And the CIA..."

Best animals
Chris Boardman's "secret squirrels" - the British cycling team technicians responsible for the carbon fibre frames, aerodynamic helmets known as the Smurf and the one-piece carbon-fibre handlebars and stem, nicknamed the Cobra. Hundredths of seconds saved, hundreds of medals won.

Worst animal
"Pingping," thinks Belarus's Yahor Lapo, when he meets the mount he's been randomly assigned in the modern pentathlon. "What a fine name for a fine-looking horse. I'm in business." The business Yahor was in, it transpired, was demolition. If Pingping had ever cleared a fence before, it was a very small one. By accident.

Best job of a bad job
All over Beijing, starch-stiff sentries have been stood on small flat boxes, miles from anywhere, guarding nothing but not moving an inch, all day long. One chap I walked past on a daily basis was stood facing a hedge for the entire duration of the Olympics. And you thought the dressage was a tough watch.

Strangest Mandarin word not understood
After three weeks, I had ni hao, zai jian and xiexie off to a tee. The one word I could never make sense of was the one that sounds like a posh English drunk man saying "arse". Arsch. Ourshce. Any ideas?

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Most unfortunate case of mistaken identity
BBC swimming commentator and 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Steve Parry thought it would be a good idea to go for a stroll through Tiananmen Square, carrying a few items of swimming equipment with him. Two minutes later, he's being mobbed by hundreds of over-excited locals, all desperate to get Michael Phelps' autograph. I'm not saying you've got big ears, Steve, but...

Best stadium
You'd walk down Olympic Green, look to your right and know with complete certainty that the Water Cube was the greatest sports building you'd ever seen. You'd then turn your head 180 degrees and think exactly the same thing about the Bird's Nest, before jumping on a bus out to Laoshan Velodrome and deciding that the Flying Saucer was the best of the lot. The next day, the process would start all over again. Twenty-one days after arriving in Beijing, I still haven't made my mind up.

Biggest strop
Saucer of milk to Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian, who after being forced to settle for 84kg Greco-Roman bronze, took the medal from around his neck, stepped off the podium and flung it onto the mat in disgust before storming off. It's not the winning that matters, it's the taking offence.

Best celebration

When Spain's Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz took gold in the Tornado class catamarans, did they simply shake hands and wave briefly to their supporters on the shore? Or did they throw themselves overboard while Team Espana came swimming out into the briny to join them, and then thrash about wildly in the waves like a party of drunk Club 18-30 holidaymakers?

Giddiest atmosphere
Who said table tennis was a sport for village halls and maths geeks? The Peking University Gymnasium was like a cross between a cock pit and a cage-fighting tournament when a ping pong ding dong was in progress, with any player from China - or Hong Kong, or Taiwan/Chinese Taipei - roared on until the rafters rattled. Despite having earlier been beaten 21-5 by an 84-year-old man, I had my faith in the great game restored.


Most often-heard song
If you spent most of your time at the velodrome, it was God Save The Queen. Anywhere else and your weeping ears were unable to avoid the horror that was Sarah Brightman and Liu Huan warbling the official song of the Beijing Olympics, "You And Me". I've heard more tuneful pneumatic drills.

Most frequently taken photo
Wherever you went on Olympic Green, you could see people standing with the Bird's Nest in the background, one arm up raised to the side, their palm curled as if gripping an invisible cup. It was only when you walked in front of them that you realised that this was Beijing's version of the "holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa" photo - the "holding the Olympic flame". They never tired of it.

Funniest quote
New Zealand's Hayden Roulston seemed to sum up the British dominance of the track cycling before his individual pursuit final. "I think anyone is beatable," he said, "but you have to cut your head off to beat Bradley Wiggins."

Worst joke not used in a blog until this point
"I've had a great tip from Steve Cram and Brendan Foster about the possible winner of the men's marathon."
"Yeah. They kept banging on about him all evening."
"What's his name?"
"He's a Chinese chap - a fella called Wai-Ai Mann."

Tom Fordyce is a BBC Sport journalist covering a wide range of events in Beijing. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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  • 1. At 11:06am on 25 Aug 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    Brilliant stuff.

    Alternative Best Quote was from Cassie Pattern's "The Queen, if you're watching. Two Gold Medals .... Dame Rebecca Addlington".

    Never laughed more during the Olympics.

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  • 2. At 11:12am on 25 Aug 2008, Toddmt wrote:

    Iv seen that vedio of Steve's story in Tiananmen Square, Its obvious that he is not Phelps. People followed him simply because steve was producing a TV programme. People r just curious. Thats my guess.

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  • 3. At 11:48am on 25 Aug 2008, newselflee wrote:

    Are you sure it sounds like "Arse", not "Ar..Che..."???

    Ar... same as Are, but much shorter.
    Che... like Chelsea.

    if it dose sound like "Ar..Che...", Congratulations!!!!! It's a Chinese guy SNEEZING!!!!

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  • 4. At 11:57am on 25 Aug 2008, newselflee wrote:

    I show the video to my friend, of course chinese, who maybe watch one or two Phelps show, with the sound off.
    he shouted " what does Phelps do at the Tiananmen Square, he seems having gained a lot of weight in Beijing" .

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  • 5. At 12:42pm on 25 Aug 2008, freddie_205 wrote:

    The most off hand piece of bad news:
    during the Volleyball final between Russia and USA, the American commentator
    "It's been an emotional tournemant for the US coach, last week his Father-in-Law was murdered by a crazy man"

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  • 6. At 12:49pm on 25 Aug 2008, kebish wrote:

    Tom, your strangest sounding Mandarin word sounds like it could be the word for twenty - spelt in pinyin "ershi" (pinyin is the worst phonetic language ever) and pronounced much as you describe - "Arsch". Most commonly heard followed by the word "kwai" - together meaning 20 yuan, which is probably the price they were asking for a five yuan bottle of water.

    Your "Ourshce" may actually be a different word - or words. You may have heard the word for twenty-four which is "ershi si" - pronounced as above but with an additional sound much like the very beginning of the word "certain".

    Thanks for your blog!

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  • 7. At 1:05pm on 25 Aug 2008, flashing blade wrote:

    A rival for your funniest quote came from Dutch track cyclist Theo Bos who, when asked about his chances against Hoy and Kenny in the men's individual sprint, said: "I have a one per cent chance, but if I have to race them, you never know. It looks like they have swallowed a motorbike."

    Thanks for your blogs, Tom. They've made great reading.

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  • 8. At 2:05pm on 25 Aug 2008, kingtheseus wrote:

    The Award for most enthusiastic and entertaining BBC presenter/reporter...

    1) Rob Walker - Sailing

    Dangling off the side of a dinghy amongst 8ft waves, wind, rain or shine, with a microphone in one hand. "Get your cornflakes ready!".

    Absolutely brilliant! Get him on the box more often BBC - he's entertainment in itself!

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  • 9. At 3:09pm on 25 Aug 2008, bknliem wrote:

    I agree that your "arse" sounds like "er shi" (twenty). The question is twenty what? Maybe "one gold away from twenty" for GB's gold tally?

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  • 10. At 3:15pm on 25 Aug 2008, TrudyJ wrote:

    The most in your face comment a commentator could ever make. He obviously knew who was going to win before the race even began. This commentator is good.

    “When the men walked out Usain Bolt looked as though he was heading to the beach and the others looked as though they were heading for bad news. We get the chance perhaps to see history in the making” BBC commentator

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  • 11. At 3:25pm on 25 Aug 2008, hackerjack wrote:

    The most off hand piece of bad news:
    during the Volleyball final between Russia and USA, the American commentator
    "It's been an emotional tournemant for the US coach, last week his Father-in-Law was murdered by a crazy man"


    To be fair the American's had been talking about it all week on commentary, it's ust that that was the first time we had American commentary, which was odd in itself.

    Frankly I'm dissapointed at the beeb for not acknowledging it at all at the time.

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  • 12. At 3:39pm on 25 Aug 2008, hackerjack wrote:

    As for awards, how about this one for how about this for most racious loser:

    Matt Emmons, the US shooter who lost out on a medla last time around by shooting at
    the wrong target with his final shot would have been perfectly normal had he spiralled in dispair after yet again messing up on the last shot this time around. Needing only a 6.7 on his last shot (anything less than an 8.0 is extremely bad at this level) to ensure gold he accidentally pulled the trigger and registered a 4.4, finishing fourth.

    Instead of looking for excuses of hiding in a corner he came straight out and openly admitted his fault. Philosophically he said:

    "The way I come into a target is I start above the target and come down from 12 o'clock and get into the bull's-eye," he said. "And as I get down into the bull's-eye is when I start to get on the trigger."

    On Sunday's last shot, "As I was starting to get on the trigger, the gun just went off," he said.

    "I was like, 'Uh, that's not going to be good.'"

    "I didn't feel my finger shaking, but I guess it was," said Emmons. "I realized it went off and I hope it made it to the black. I call it a freak of nature."

    "You just can't let it get to you, there are other things way more important," said Emmons. "I'm waiting for some really good thing to happen from this, because everything happens for a reason."

    "Things happen for a reason," Matt Emmons said. "Maybe last time, the reason was Katy. This time I don't know yet, but I'm sure something good's going to come from it."

    One of the classiest interviews I have seen this games.

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  • 13. At 3:57pm on 25 Aug 2008, asampedas wrote:

    my chinese isn't that good, but I have a feeling that word sounding like 'arse'/ 'ourse' could be 'na-she' meaning 'that is....'

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  • 14. At 5:03pm on 25 Aug 2008, Ruaraidh Gillies wrote:

    We can chuckle at the horses in the modern pentathlon because "it happened to other people", but seriously - where was Yahor Lapo positioned in the competition after the first 3 events? If the British medal contenders (names escape me, sorry) had had horses that bad for their attempts we would have been up in arms, demanding an overhaul of the sport.

    I understand that the weaker horses were pulled from the women's event for the following day (and I hope Pingping was one of them, cos if not...), but you'd have thought that the horses would have been of a minimum acceptable standard.

    Luck should not play such a part in getting an Olympic medal. Otherwise we may as well introduce poker and roulette for 2012.

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  • 15. At 5:59pm on 25 Aug 2008, mrmichaelh wrote:


    Totally agree. It is the most heart-wrenching, upllifting stories of the Games. I first head about Emmons when his wife was winning the first Gold of the Games and I heard the backstory..I thought I was reading about Athens again when it happened to him again in Beijing..unbelieveable.

    Check this out:

    Moving video and slightly different quotes from yours posted. I think his closing statement is perfect

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  • 16. At 6:34pm on 25 Aug 2008, lynnba wrote:

    How ungracious can media people get?

    Our Olympic athletes are good enough to give time after a long flight to represent the rest of Team GB at a press conference and are greeted with a half hearted round of applause from hacks as they enter the room and ziltch at the conclusion.
    I realise a Press conference is not a public event but would it have hurt the press corp to have acknowledged this hard working group of people with a little more enthusiasm.

    No Doubt they will be fast enough to roll out platitueds when they are 'reporting' in their copy.

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  • 17. At 6:57pm on 25 Aug 2008, jollygrandsamster wrote:

    I would add three further categories
    1. the most out of date person in the Olympics - step forward Monsieur Jacques Rogge for his comments about Usain Bolt's celebration

    2. Best Commentator / pundit/ presenter - Hugh Porter ,Michael Johnson and Claire Balding

    3. Not so good commentator/ pundit/ presenter - Brendan Foster, Hazel Irvine and Adrian Chiles

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  • 18. At 7:13pm on 25 Aug 2008, Princessbonzai wrote:

    I hear what you said about the Chinese Olympic theme tune, but surely the prize for the worst earworm in history has to go to the BBC's Olympic theme tune!

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  • 19. At 7:45pm on 25 Aug 2008, EPF wrote:

    Adrian Chiles during the Taekwondo situation, possibly the greatest man on the BBC in a presenting role, we want more of him

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  • 20. At 9:35pm on 25 Aug 2008, trevrut wrote:

    Biggets waste of 'UNFAIR TAX PAYERS MONEY' all the reporters and the commentators that ruined both the opening and closing ceremony with their constant talking..........Most of it utter rubbish!! They may love the sound of their own voices......but millions of viewers who are forced to pay their wages wish a) they weren't there in the first place. (It would have saved a fortune. or at least b) that they learned how to SHUT UP!!!

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  • 21. At 10:33pm on 25 Aug 2008, bennyrobs wrote:

    Arsh, and arshure, would be the Beijing Chinese saying 2 and 20. They have a bit of a Bristol style accent and thus the r's are over emphasized.

    Great games for Team GB and I only hope the good cheer lasts until London.

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  • 22. At 10:55pm on 25 Aug 2008, forzaunited wrote:

    I personally loved the BBC theme, and am grateful that we can download it!

    My award would be for the funniest name for a british competitor, and that has to go to Daisy Dick of the equestrian team....

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  • 23. At 10:56pm on 25 Aug 2008, rich1234 wrote:

    Funniest moment.

    The moment at which the American commentator on NBC found out that Rebecca Adlington had out touched Katie Hoff for the gold medal despite hailing her as the winner for at least the previous two lengths. Katie Hoff wins for the USA was his comment as the graphic came up behind him showing Dame Rebecca came first. Priceless comedy.

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  • 24. At 11:14pm on 25 Aug 2008, Gills Diaspora wrote:

    "Wai-Ai Mann"??? I can do worse...
    Revisited the opening ceremony on video with my son today (he loves fireworks).
    Dad: "That's the president of China on the right"
    Son: "Who's on the left?"
    Dad: "No, he's on the right"
    [repeat 3 times]
    Well, it had to be done. He's only 6, so has never heard of Abbot and Costello.

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  • 25. At 11:17pm on 25 Aug 2008, Gills Diaspora wrote:

    Least tasteful use of popular music award:

    a snippet of a Gary Glitter song in the middle of the women's beach volleyball final - on the day the artist was released from prison...

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  • 26. At 11:55pm on 25 Aug 2008, hizento wrote:

    In the mens diving competition "Dancing Queen" was played.

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  • 27. At 02:26am on 26 Aug 2008, exalll wrote:

    Funniest quote ... as reported on the BBC, the Australian TV commentators on the incident when a Dutch boat in the rowing encountering problems due to weeds getting entangled in the rudder ... "Unusual for the Dutch to have a problem with weed"

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  • 28. At 02:45am on 26 Aug 2008, dubz2008 wrote:

    Best interview - The Aussie girl who came 2nd in the 110m hurdles

    "did you see me? did you see how pumped i was?"


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  • 29. At 07:38am on 26 Aug 2008, Tom Fordyce wrote:

    kebish, bennyrobs, bknliem - good chat on the "arshe" front. You sure I just wasn't being insulted behind my back?

    Re Daisy Dick, heard a good little story from a cousin of mine back home. Having watched a TV clip on Daisy shortly before Tyson Gay appeared in the heats of the 100m, his girlfriend turned to him with a confused look on her face and said: "Do all athletes at the Olympics compete under made-up names?"

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  • 30. At 08:38am on 26 Aug 2008, greathappyharmony wrote:

    Well, there was a presenter called Adrian Chiles who clearly has never been a sports reporter so the Award for Most Bizarre Choice of presenter for the Olympics must go to the BBC.

    Among his comments:

    To Dame Kelly implying the Hurdles were more difficult than her race " Well at least you didn"t have to jump over lots of things......"

    She came back at him pretty quickly!

    "What's on next...I have no idea.."
    If he didn't then how were we supposed to know?

    "The Madison....I have no idea how that works and intend to find out today."Or words to that effect.

    So, non-specialist presenter who had not made an attempt to understand the rules of an Olympic sport in advance put in a position of informing the public about it by the BBC Award to Adrian Chiles!

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  • 31. At 10:17am on 26 Aug 2008, mr_medzy wrote:

    Most over-used cliché -

    "It's been four years of hard work"

    Can someone find me an interview with a GB medal winner where they do not utter that statement of the bleeding obvious?

    Most brilliant coverage -


    Anyone who stepped outside the UK and had to endure foreign coverage (esp in the US) over the past couple of weeks must surely have missed the brilliant Beeb. Ad-free, all-angles-covered, as unbiased as possible, awesome. Makes you as proud to be British as Team GB itself. Well done chaps.

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  • 32. At 12:22pm on 26 Aug 2008, GayErnie wrote:

    I can't believe nobody has mentioned Rob Walker and Bryony Shaw.

    That was comming from about 30 seconds before it happened and serves him right for trying to interview people straight after the event.

    I haven't laughed so much before going to work in years.

    Well done to Claire Balding and Adrian Chiles as well for getting involved so much with the taekwondo on Saturday. It made something we didn't really care about before matter to us.....even with the little slip.

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  • 33. At 12:49pm on 26 Aug 2008, mikitapom wrote:

    Oh how we have missed the BBC's coverage. We have had to endure the whole of the games at the hands of channel 7 in Australia. Australia was the only nation taking part and were expected to win every gold going it seemed. Shame, they didn't but now the are celebrating that per capita they achieved more medals than the Brits. Not the best analogy to make as the Kiwis did better that the aussies. Adrian Childs cannnot have been half as bad as some of the channel 7 staff they rolled out from all sorts of programmes to be 'experts.' It seems that everything was recorded so that the comercial could be slipped in every seven minutes! Total crap

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  • 34. At 1:20pm on 26 Aug 2008, Moutarde wrote:


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  • 35. At 1:22pm on 26 Aug 2008, Moutarde wrote:

    Best moment was Shanaze Reade shrugging her shoulders after the final of the BMX and saying "I didn't come here to win silver"

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  • 36. At 2:18pm on 26 Aug 2008, DispatchAndy wrote:

    To add to 33...
    the NBC coverage was dire, especially the athletics none of which was shown in realtime even on their website feeds!
    I have even had the same commenst from other Americans. Still I think we were better than the Aussies who got even worse service.
    My awards would have to be to Ben Dirs and the rest of the Texting crew. They managed to give a flavour of what was going on even though no BBC pictures were allowed to be shown out of the UK. I am so envious of what the BBC made parents back home are still laughing at our misfortune!

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  • 37. At 3:25pm on 26 Aug 2008, psxguru wrote:

    For the worst joke category maybe steve redgrave should be in there with his 'chink in the armour' comment during the closing ceremony!

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