BBC BLOGS - John Beattie

Archives for July 2012

Do the Olympics actually matter?

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John Beattie | 16:13 UK time, Monday, 30 July 2012

Are the Olympics a good or a bad thing? Do you admire or abhor the drive for a medal?

I just want to take a few moments to have some brief thoughts about this and get your feelings on it too.

But before I get started, perhaps the Olympics demonstrate perfectly that mankind is not perfect.

In a world where Nasa's mission control claim that "failure is not an option", failure, actually, is part of every day life.

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Poor start for Scottish Olympians, but surely success is on the way?

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John Beattie | 17:51 UK time, Sunday, 29 July 2012

Oops. There's a bit of tension around, isn't there?

Or at least there is here in London and Sunday was a subdued day.

Here's a thought: Everyone else is trying to win gold medals too!

There was supposed to be a medal bounce at these games, or at least a preliminary medal splash in the pool. But no. It was a disappointing first weekend for those Scottish athletes in finals.

From a Scottish perspective Imogen Bankier couldn't make it through the knockout stages of the mixed doubles.

David Millar and the cycling road race team didn't realise that the rest of the world might not just allow them to dominate and win for Mark Cavendish.

Andy and Jamie Murray were beaten in the tennis doubles, and Elena Baltacha announced she might quit and have ankle surgery.

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Is Team GB impoverished by offering no cash for gold?

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John Beattie | 10:31 UK time, Friday, 27 July 2012

Do you try harder if someone pays you money? Hand on heart, I think a win bonus works. So why is Great Britain the only top-10 competing nation not to offer money for a gold medal?

Do you, like me, see an anomaly in the fact that £500m in lottery and taxpayers' money has been handed out to Olympic sports since the Games were awarded to London in 2005 and yet there is no win bonus?

The rain battered off my student accommodation window this morning. The opening ceremony beckons, a day of broadcasts lies ahead and our Olympics correspondent, Kheredine Idessane, has arrived to join our small team.

Jane Lewis, who was presenting the morning news bulletins, hooked up with me by phone early in the morning to talk about what we'd say when we were on air on Good Morning Scotland.

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Hampden drops ball for North Korea as Scots seek bounce at Games

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John Beattie | 15:59 UK time, Thursday, 26 July 2012

I feel like Captain Kirk on day two of my blog, early afternoon on Thursday 26 July.
How many medals will Scotland win at the games? I'll get to that later.

After my last bit of writing I have suddenly realised that I am spending way too much time with this person: Rhona McLeod. We appear to get on okay despite the age difference, yes, she is 10 years older than me.

Yesterday afternoon was spent in the International Broadcast Centre which is a massive, high-tech, air-conditioned, steel shed within the Olympic park. The BBC has a part of it which is full of buzzing and whirring machines, TV screens, and people feverishly making sure that radio and TV bits work.

There are so many well-known BBC faces walking by that I start to nod to people involuntarily. I know them, but they don't know me. Huw Edwards must think I'm daft, and I nearly asked Sue Barker how her garden was going. She looks like a neighbour.

The links had all been filmed for Sport Nation tonight at 1900 BST on BBC2 Scotland, so later in the afternoon I was testing kit and talking to producers about radio output for the following day.

Then it was on the bus back to our student accommodation for a brief bit of fitness in the local park, and our walk out in the evening for some food was disrupted with the news of "A bad Korea choice".

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Firestarter! Who will light the Olympic flame?

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John Beattie | 14:17 UK time, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Welcome to my first Olympic blog. I'll be writing one every day during the Games.

I wonder who will light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony on Friday night here in London?

In fact, who do you think should light it?

I reckon they should get Mick Jagger and Keith Richard to team up with Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney and have a band called the Bones.

Keith could flick his ash spectacularly into the piping gas and whoosh, it could be "All over now" or "Help!"

And Mick must be one of the fittest pensioners in the whole of the UK.

Seriously though, there is nobody smoother than Sean Connery and he'd be my selection.

My guess? Royalty.

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