Olympic Diary, 12 August, 2012

It’s the last day of the 2012 Olympics!

It was the men’s marathon today. I went to Cheapside in the City of London, as I did last week for the women’s marathon.

This time I was standing outside the church of St Mary-Le-Bow. The Bow  Bells were ringing again, which delighted me. I discovered that the church had arranged special teams of bellringers to ring the bells to coincide with the women and men’s marathons. Great stuff!  Although, one or two people seemed a bit frustrated because the loudness of the bells made it difficult to carry on a conversation.

There was no rain for the men’s marathon, compared with last week’s downpour.  It was also warmer.  Great for the crowd; not so great, I imagine, for the runners.

As last week, the crowd cheered for all the athletes, whatever their nationality.

I myself chanted the athletes’ country, if I could make out the nationality of the runner from his vest; – GB, Israel, Finland, Greece etc.

I got a few quizzical looks, – has this fellow got a multiple split personality or what – but if chanting the nationality gave the runners the slightest encouragement in their 26 mile slog, I didn’t mind.  For the Greek guy I chanted  ‘Hellas, Hellas’ (Greek for Greece) and got a grin and a wave from the athlete.

By the time they came round for the third time, three Kenyan’s were running together, ahead of the rest of the field.  I thought then that, as predicted, Kenya would take a clean sweep of the medals. It was not to be.  Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda got the gold.

So, that’s my Olympics over. I’ve had a great time but have spent a lot of dosh on tickets.

I think I shall have to go busking. If I stood outside Harrow bus station and whistled ‘Three Blind Mice’, over and over and over and over and over again, do you think I’d make £75 an hour? £50? £25?

What’s that? Not even 25p an hour! C’mon who said that? Own up!

If that really is the case, I’ll have to rethink.  Might it make a difference if I were to play ‘Three Blind Mice’, using a piece of toilet paper over a comb like I did when I was a kid? The problem is that it doesn’t work with our modern soft toilet paper.

Those were the days. Hard toilet paper. That’s what made our nation great in sport and in other fields, blah, blah, blah.

Hold on, what am I talking about? In these days of soft toilet paper we have people from all nations who dedicate their lives for years to punishing training regimes in an effort to win Olympic glory. Only a small fraction of them will succeed in getting medals, which only makes their dedication more remarkable. So there really is something in the Olympic motto, it’s not winning but taking part that counts.

I admire them all greatly.

Oh well, even if it’s over, there’s next time to look forward to.

There is a story doing the rounds – even if only in the dim recesses of my mind – that the next time London will host the Olympics will be in 2104. I’ll be there!  Even if – er – I might be quite old. You, old?  Surely not, I hear you say.

If you wish to raise a point in connection with the Olympics diary, you can contact me on inquiries@jhwilson.myzen.co.uk




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