- 1 Mar 08, 03:36 PM
Wednesday 26 May 1999 showed me just how streaky good fortune and dogged perseverance can achieve beautiful rewards.
There was the outstretched boot of the "Baby-faced Assassin" in the dying seconds of the Champions League final causing me to lose the plot (and my chicken madras) in my mate's living room, while, just a few hours before, my sweaty palms and a borrowed tie had steered me safely through a tricky interview, helping me realise a long-term dream of being a sport journalist for the BBC.
Nine years later, I'm still here, having interviewed and filmed some of the finest sporting stars around - not to mention the one-on-one game of footie I had in the BBC corridors with baby Becks Brooklyn as his mum and dad got changed for their Comic Relief Ali G grilling in 2001.
The cameras may now be smaller, and the technology more baffling, but my passions for sport burn as strong as ever.
Olympics. This one word has been found burrowing into my head with increasing regularity over the past couple of years, thanks to the Sport Academy website refocusing itself towards all things Olympic. And since London got le nod over Paris, the so-called minority sports are now finally getting their day in the sun. Long may it continue. It's ping pong and squealing taekwondo fighters that are putting the smile on my face these days.
As the Olympic juggernaut trundles along towards Beijing, and eventually London, I have been lucky enough to work with some of Britain's finest young stars being followed by the Olympic Dreams TV team.
Watching the likes of heptathlete Jess Ennis and the GB rowers in training makes you appreciate the dedication and sacrifice needed to get to an Olympics, let alone get on the podium. I am providing regular updates on the web in the build-up to the transmission of the second series just before Beijing.
The medals get the headlines, but helping to tell the story of the tears, the sweat and joy on many of the athletes' Olympic journeys is a privilege and just a beautiful thing.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites