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When people ask me about the online ticketing system for London 2012 one word springs to mind. Shambles.

It's a word that feels very out of place when considered alongside the rest of the project.

So much has gone right for London 2012 since the city was awarded the Olympics back in 2005 - in particular the achievement in making sure that all the venues will be ready in time.

Ticketing has been the one area that has appeared to lurch from one fiasco to the next.

Continue reading "2012 Olympic ticket fiasco causes concern "

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You'll have gathered from other entries on this blog that it's hot here.

Very hot indeed. I'm not going to complain, I spend enough time during the winter months longing for warmth like this, but the temperature does present certain difficulties.

Put it this way: there's a lot to be said for working for radio outlets rather than television out here.

For television reporters there is the "sweat issue".

Continue reading "TV presenters in a pickle over how to stop sweating "

I've been in Beijing for 24 hours now. This is my first visit to China.

A few months ago I was concerned that not having worked here before might turn out to be a disadvantage for me, but I have begun to change my view. When I got off the plane at Beijing airport I did so with a fresh pair of eyes.

I haven't travelled here with any prejudices brought on by bad experiences from previous trips. I don't have any memories of suffocating pollution. I am simply going to live the Olympic experience, and, I have to say, so far my impressions have been almost a hundred per cent positive.

Continue reading "A positive start"

Sunday 24 August is the most significant date for those running the London 2012 Olympics since the city won the right to host the Games in 2005.

London will then officially take over from Beijing as Olympic host city. The handover is part of the Beijing closing ceremony and London will be given an eight minute slot to show the world what it can expect in four years.

Today I was invited along with other media representatives to a venue just off the Mall to hear more about London's plans for 24 August.

Continue reading "London prepares for Olympic party"

I'm sure you've noticed a dramatic change in the tone of the coverage about the Beijing Olympics during the past two weeks.

A month ago China was under increasing international pressure over its human rights record, but the earthquake changed all that.

Now the country has the world's sympathy and support as it comes to terms with the extent of the terrible natural disaster.

It's going to be very interesting to see if that tone will change again in the weeks leading up to the Games.

Continue reading "Olympic protests quiet after earthquake"

Now that the Olympic flame has finally made it back to China it's a good time to reflect on what has been a very difficult period for the International Olympic Committee.

The problems for the IOC and the Beijing organisers are far from over, but at least they have far more control over the flame's movements now that it is on Chinese soil.

On 6 April I spent the entire day with the convoy that escorted it through the streets of London.

Throughout the 31-mile route I was just yards away from the torch, reporting for the BBC News Channel and Radio 5 Live. It turned into one of the most extraordinary days of my broadcasting career.

Continue reading "Lessons for 2012 after international torch relay"

I am the Sports News Correspondent for the BBC News Channel, although if you are unlucky with your timing then you might well see me pop up on a number of other BBC outlets as well.

I have been doing this job since 2001, and it has already taken me to two football World Cups and one Olympics, as well as numerous other sports events - so you won't be surprised when I tell you that I believe that I have one of the best jobs in the business.

Sports news is a wide brief. From football takeovers, to drug testing in athletics, to protests during the Olympic torch relay, I am expected to be across it all. And then, of course, there is the actual sport itself. There is rarely a dull moment. (Fortunately I've never had to attend a Kimi Raikkonen press conference, but I've heard plenty about them).

My love of sport grew from childhood days watching Aldershot play football. If life as a football fan is meant to be character building, then I owe a lot to Aldershot. Watching your team go broke and being consigned to the very bottom of the non-league pyramid isn't much fun, but at least it's helped me to appreciate even the smallest sporting successes. And anyway, as Aldershot fans have discovered this season, good things come to those who wait.

People often ask me which events I most enjoy covering. The answer is anything that really matters. Sport changes lives, and to watch that happening in front of you, whatever the sport, is enthralling. At the Olympics, I will be reporting on athletes whose entire careers will be judged on what happens in just a few seconds. I can't wait!

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