- 12 Aug 08, 09:08 AM
In between their carefully regimented training regime, time is filled with music, the odd book, a game of pool in their exclusive lounge.
But like an excited child desperately trying to kill time on Christmas Eve during the seemingly endless wait for their presents, restlessness can set in, so some bright spark came up with the idea of "A Question of Sport" style quiz night at to keep the troops entertained.
- 8 Aug 08, 12:52 PM
While 90,000 people prepared to cram themsleves into the Birds' Nest to celebrate the opening of the 29th Olympiad, things were decidedly more low key back at Team GB's holding camp.
In fact, there was little sign of any ceremony at all, save for a sizeable chocolate cake especially prepared for the competitors still here, (namely the track and field squad and a handful of the judo team) emblazoned with the Olympic rings that have been expertly iced on top.
How suitable cake is for those about to grace the greatest sporting event on earth is a moot point.
Suffice to say, I'm hoping they'll be little take-up so I can indulge myself, having finally conceeded defeat as regards my chances of making the team.
- 7 Aug 08, 03:55 AM
I hopped down to the Macau Athletics stadium on Tuesday, eager to check on the progress of our track and fielders.
This branch of the British team have taken their fair share of flak over recent years; by and large medals have been hard to come by.
Performance Director Dave Collins is expecting five in Beijing, and hoping for more.
The chief Gold medal hope is triple jumper Philips Idowu, freshly crowned world indoor champion, world leader and in the form of his life.
It is a rest day for the new star of the team, but it's not long before another name on Collins wish list rocks up.
- 4 Aug 08, 04:52 PM
Hold the back page, Paula has arrived!
After months of "Will she wont she?" Radcliffe stepped off the bus at the training camp hotel reception on Monday bathed in smiles and looking like a million dollars.
Only 24 hours previously, the signs were that Team Radcliffe, which includes husband and coach Gary Lough weren't crazy at the prospect of facing the mass of media in Macau waiting on her every word.
- 4 Aug 08, 12:48 PM
When Audley Harrison won Olympic gold in Sydney, he was one of only two homegrown fighters to make the trip. Amir Khan ploughed a lone furrow in Athens. Now, as I prepare to meet the eight boxers who will fly the Olympic flag this time around, I am intrigued to see if they really are as good as everyone suggests.
They're certainly in good company in the Fight Art Club on the north side of Macau. Pictures of Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee adorn the walls of the gymnasium, and it quickly becomes clear that these guys are not here for the ride.
- 1 Aug 08, 02:22 PM
Watching the British badminton team warm up is exhausting in itself.
A bit of "keepy-uppy" is followed by what can only be described as a frenetic synchronised dance.
It's only then that the fencing-like parry and thrust of practice begins.
Lightning reflexes, power and timing are paramount as the shuttlecock whistles over the net in a blur of rackets.
- 31 Jul 08, 11:04 AM
A rainstorm in Macau is something to behold. From nowhere, the sky turns a deathly black, an almighty downpour ensues.
Then as quickly as it started the deluge relents, the sun reappears and dries the ground so quickly you'd have a hard time convincing anyone there had ever been any rain in the first place.
And if you're looking for more extremes, how about comparing taekwondo and synchronized swimming?
- 30 Jul 08, 02:18 PM
Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, et al tuned up for their assault on Olympic gold with a couple of matches here against Turkey and Lithuania, so down I rushed to the ludicrously massive Venetian Hotel - twice the size of the Vegas version on which it's based and capable of holding a staggering 20,000 people - to join the media scrum.
- 29 Jul 08, 05:40 PM
The first thing that strikes one about Macau is the heat.
And "strikes" is the operative word. A thermal wave hit me like a wall as I emerged from my air-conditioned ferry.
The women's hockey team, desperate to atone for their calamitous failure to even make the Games in Athens, are the first members of the British squad to taste Macau and its climate.
"It's something else," admitted coach Danny Kerry as I watched him oversee training. "It's like running through treacle."
- 1 Mar 08, 03:42 PM
This summer I'll be dabbling in some tennis at Wimbledon and the US Open - sandwiched between that I'll be with the British Olympic team at their holding camp in Macau. I gather it's the Las Vegas of the Far East - here's hoping so because last time I was in Vegas I won $1000 on the slots!
Other than that, I'm usually in a snooker press room.
If I'm not talking about coloured balls, I'll probably be reporting from an athletics stadium - I've become Dwain Chambers's personal stalker.
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