BBC BLOGS - Ollie Williams

Archives for April 2012

Agony, elation and expletives in Olympic do-or-die weekend

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Ollie Williams | 08:48 UK time, Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Richard Hounslow stands on a patch of grass in Hertfordshire and watches his Olympics sail past.

It takes the shape of Campbell Walsh, Athens 2004 silver medallist and Hounslow's big rival for the one place available to a Briton in the men's kayak at London 2012.

Ten feet below Hounslow's vantage point on the banks of the Olympic canoe slalom course, Walsh is paddling for dear life. Hounslow took 95.76 seconds to complete his run. Walsh has to beat that. About 15 seconds from now, the dream dies for one of them.

"Walsh's split time is on fire!" roars the commentator. Hounslow rolls his eyes and grimaces. Walsh, four years Hounslow's senior at the age of 34, barrels on past him, mere metres from the finish.

And then it's over, Walsh slumped back in his kayak and Hounslow rooted to the spot. Four unbearable seconds elapse before the time is announced.

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Mark Cavendish becomes a dad

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Ollie Williams | 08:35 UK time, Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Late on Tuesday evening, Mark Cavendish became a father.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year, holder of the Tour de France green jersey, road cycling world champion and likely contender for Britain's first medal of the London Olympics now has another priority in this, the busiest of years: tiny Delilah Grace Cavendish.

Daddy Cav tweeted the big announcement, wasting no time in proclaiming it the "happiest day of my life". Mum, former glamour model Peta Todd, added she had "started that birth malarkey at 6am" but praised her other half as "incredible" throughout.

Keeping professional focus at this most personal of times is going to be quite the challenge for Cavendish. Most new fathers probably find that's a full-time occupation, without the British public expecting you to win an Olympic gold medal and Tour de France honours before your child has reached four months old. But Cavendish has known his priorities all along.

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