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Ming Tombs Reservoir

You can plan and you can plan, but sometimes Olympic golds are decided by things you simply have no control over.

Britain's former world triathlon champion Tim Don spent Thursday and Friday watching the contents of his stomach come back past his teeth, at speed. For two days he could hold nothing down - not even water.

He had eaten exactly the same food from the exactly the same places as his four GB team-mates. 18-year-old Hollie Avil went down with the same vomiting virus; the other three felt fine.

Come race-day here at the Ming Tombs reservoir to the north of Beijing, Don was a man swimming and cycling on empty. Avil had already dropped out of her race the day before.

Team GB had kept Don's illness quiet so as not to tip off his rivals that something was wrong.

As it turned out, four years of preparation, 16 years of triathlon, all disappeared down the toilet, right in front of his eyes.

Continue reading "Tri as hard as you can, but sometimes it's not enough"

Recent entries

A lot has happened since my last post!

First of all, the GB team has been named, and it's a great line-up as well with Helen Tucker and Hollie Avil, Tim Don, Alistair Brownlee and me.

I'm really happy with the team, it's really well-rounded with no "weakest link" and I genuinely believe that each one of us could win a medal.

Continue reading "The hardest training of my life"

America's Sheila Taormina competed at the 1996 Olympics as a swimmer, at the 2000 and 2004 Games as a triathlete and is going to Beijing as a modern pentathlete

You don't need me to tell you how much dedication and effort it takes to become an Olympic athlete, never mind an Olympic champion.

Continue reading "Olympic countdown - 39 days - Taormina's tale"

Fifty-three days to go until the Olympic triathlon - and down in Hyde Park, at the announcement of the British triathlon squad, it couldn't be less like Beijing.

Quacking ducks paddle across the muddy Serpentine. Old ladies in M&S coats hug cups of tea. A chill wind sends grey clouds bumping into each other overhead.

You rather feel for the athletes, just off the plane from a 10-day heat camp in Texas which was designed to get them used to the conditions they'll face in China.

"It averaged 41 degrees C out there," says Will Clarke, former world under-23 champion and part-time BBC blogger, goose-bumps appearing on his arms.

Continue reading "Hyde Park - nothing like Beijing"

Welcome to our Olympics and Paralympics blog, which we are launching as the countdown to the 2008 Games begins in earnest.

Wednesday marks exactly 100 days to go to the 8 August opening ceremony (though oddly enough the football tournament starts two days earlier).

Writers from across BBC Sport, Radio 5Live, BBC London and BBC News will bring you the inside track on all 28 Olympic sports, as well as the Games themselves - which are set to be truly fascinating, if controversial, given China's hosting of them.

One of the uncertainties at the moment from a British perspective is whether the Games will turn out to be a triumph - or a failure. My view is...

Continue reading "Welcome to our new Olympics blog"

Keep reading this blog for all the latest about the Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing and also for the inside track on the long build-up to London 2012.

News and reports will be on the BBC Sport website but our experts will bring you behind the scenes access to the world's biggest sporting event right here.

All of our bloggers are keen to hear your views and we want people to engage and comment on what we have to say.

To find out more about all our contributors, check our about their author pages.

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Continue reading "About the Olympics blog"

I compete in the triathlon and will be going to my first Games in Beijing.

I was World and European Under-23 champion in 2006 and have now stepped up to the senior ranks.

More to follow.

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