BBC BLOGS - John Beattie

Archives for August 2012

Glasgow must take heed of London travel lessons

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John Beattie | 08:44 UK time, Saturday, 11 August 2012

Glasgow 2014 has to be very careful as to the travel message it gives out before its hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

I hate traffic jams. Being stuck in thousands of pounds worth of steel cage designed to swoop along highland roads or fly down an airstrip - or so Top Gear would have you believe - is my idea of a complete waste of time and a break down in the transport system.

And if the build-up to London 2012 was to be believed then this great city was going to give every traveller a heart attack.

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Tears a big feature of London 2012 Olympic Games

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John Beattie | 15:46 UK time, Thursday, 9 August 2012

Someone help me. Why are all these athletes crying at the Olympics?

How often do you cry? Ahem, in extreme moments of tiredness, Lassie, or ET for me.
But London 2012 has become the crying Games.

It's not new though. Sir Matthew Pincent blubbed in Athens, as if part of some Greek tragedy, as he won his fourth gold medal.

At the same games Paula Radcliffe was spotted in floods of tears being driven away after having dropped out of the marathon.

My friend Gavin Hastings had Dougie Donnelly in a flap when he was overcome by tears during an interview after a loss to the England rugby team.

Golfer Tiger Woods cried after winning the Open in 2006, tennis player Roger Federer cried in his post-match interview after being bludgeoned by a young Rafa Nadal at the Australian Open in 2009, footballer Paul Gascoigne lost it in the 1990 World Cup and Mary Decker lay on the ground weeping after an accidental clash of heels with fellow athlete Zola Budd at the 1984 Olympic Games.

But they were sporadic instances. Here, in London, it seems everyone is in tears.

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Hoy weighs up retirement with 2014 looming

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John Beattie | 17:28 UK time, Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Can Sir Chris Hoy really win another gold medal in two years' time, given that he will be 38 years old by then? I hope he considers his course wisely. And I hope he can.

It's been a good day, however, watching equestrianism and the medal attempt by Scott Brash from Peebles.

Sad that his medal chances went with an early fault, but Brash is now forever famous for his answer to Clare Balding the night he and his team won their equestrian team gold.

She asked him what effect a gold medal might have on his life. He said: "Well, I really hope it improves my pulling power with women, to be honest with you - yeah, I think that's about it."

Where do they go for this kind of stuff in Peebles?

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How money buys medals

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John Beattie | 16:52 UK time, Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Poor countries cannot win at track cycling, nor swimming, nor rowing.

Rich countries have an advantage.

We have to temper our pride against the truth, which is that it's an unfair fight.

Marvellous though it is, it's only a small pool of countries prepared to spend the millions needed to win medals at expensive sports.

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Politics and sport mix in my inbox

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John Beattie | 16:38 UK time, Monday, 6 August 2012

That was one of the best weekends of my life. I'll get to that in a second.

My in box gets some strange emails. For the last two weeks it's been getting mass emails with quotes from politicians congratulating athletes on their success.

Which is very strange.

I think the success of the athletes reflects on the volunteers, families, support systems, and the people whose tax helps pay for them, rather than politicians.

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London signs the way to 2014 success

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John Beattie | 10:50 UK time, Thursday, 2 August 2012

David Grevenberg, the chief executive of Glasgow 2014, was on Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland this morning, where he talked about learning lessons from London 2012.

He mentioned filling the stadia from day one which would be superb.

But it's at least partly about a charm offensive.

The lessons for Glasgow in 2014 are plain to see every day I make my way to the Olympic park.

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