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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?

Continue reading "Fighting feet and synchro swimming"

Recent entries

We went out for a meal on Wednesday evening and had to get back to the Broadcast Centre on Olympic Green afterwards - a 25-minute walk, according to those in the know.

But they hadn't reckoned on my legendary sense of direction, or indeed that of my esteemed colleague Vassos Alexander, about whom it is said, could get lost on his way back from the canteen to his desk at Television Centre.

Full of duck, and needing the exercise, we set off, with the distant lights from the TV tower by the main stadium to guide us. Snag is, there's a fence of Olympic proportions. Its purpose is to thwart unwelcome visitors and, boy, were we thwarted.

Continue reading "Lost on the Olympic Green"

I'm in a good mood. I've just finished a tough couple of days at the velodrome, and it's all been excellent news - two personal bests on the flying 200 metres.

At the same time, I'm hurting. On Tuesday I did the last part of my interval session at my lactic tolerance threshold, and if I'm honest it felt pretty grim.

My numbers were great - my power readings are up - but it still felt horrible. There's nothing pleasant about those sorts of sessions.

Continue reading "Faster than ever before - and that feels good"

Russian gymnast Alexander Dityatin (left) and American swimmer Michael Phelps are the only Olympians to win eight medals at one GamesIn Britain we quite rightly get excited when any of our Olympic athletes wins a medal, be that gold, silver or bronze.

Continue reading "Olympic countdown - 8 days - Phenomenal Phelps"

The British Olympic squad lost the limelight in Macau on Wednesday as the American basketball team were in town!

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.

Continue reading "NBA stars descend on Macau"

American athlete Carl Lewis wins the first of his four Olympic long jump titles at the 1984 Los Angeles Games

If you were asked to name the greatest Olympian of all time, I bet the name Carl Lewis would feature more than any other.

Continue reading "Olympic countdown - 9 days - King Carl"

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."

Continue reading "Heat is on inside GB camp in Macau"

We fly out to Beijing on Wednesday and the excitement is really building. Apparently we have done 308 days of preparation so far this year.

So adding up all the years since I have been rowing and dreaming about this kind of opportunity, I make that roughly 4,299 days of preparation.

But that is too many days to think about at the moment, so I'm just taking it one day at a time, one session at a time, relishing the moment we are in.

Continue reading "Over 4,000 days of Olympic preparation"

The Chinese security guard looked a worried man after putting my suitcase through the scanner.

So did his colleagues, all five of them, and when his supervisor arrived the offending item in my bag was subjected to a level of scrutiny that bordered on the forensic.

I was carrying a suitcase full of electronic equipment: a satellite phone, lap-top, digital recorder, you name it but the object that really concerned them was... a cricket bat.

Continue reading "A brush with airport officialdom"

It has been a crazy few weeks. Olympic selection, lots of training, pushing the world's best all the way at Crystal Palace, a rather interesting photoshoot on top of a postbox in Newmarket, and now we're just a few days from setting off for Beijing.

Whatever happened in the London Grand Prix at the weekend wasn't going to change my confidence ahead of the Olympics. Although I lost out to Christina Obergfoll (she's the world number two from Germany), I am really pleased with my performance - 63.82 metres was a good distance.

It was a great atmosphere at Crystal Palace - I really felt at home. I have been performing consistently, and it's now twice I've beaten Germany's Steffi Nerius, so that's all really nice.

Continue reading "From Playboy bunny to postbox pin-up"

America's Ray Ewry winning the standing high jump at the 1908 Olympic Games in London

This countdown aims to be fully interactive so, after three long months of questions to answer, it's time for the physical participation section. Let's hear your best efforts in the now-defunct Olympic sports of standing long jump, standing triple jump and standing high jump.

Continue reading "Olympic countdown - 10 days - Human frog"

I don't do diets. Winter vomiting and heartbreak are the only two I've ever had. I lost a shed load, although I wouldn't recommend it.

The thought of slogging it out on a treadmill or swinging a kettle bell isn't enough to convince me that a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips.

Then again with the humid conditions expected for the Olympic sailing events I won't need a sweaty gym. We're talking nearly 100% humidity in Qingdao.

Continue reading "Windsurfer prepares to make weight"

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