Running (Olympic) rings around the competition


This week has been filled to the brim with OLYMPIC FUN, so this is what this post will be about. I feel like journalists should be able to turn their hand to writing about anything, so I’m going to attempt a very, very topical sports post. Please be gentle with me!

Now, I’m no sporting expert, but I do love the Olympics. My favourite events are the rowing, swimming, diving and gymnastics, and today I developed an interest in synchronised swimming. A very watery theme, bar the gymnastics. Oh, and of course the athletics. If you follow me on Twitter (if you don’t, what are you playing at?), you’ll have seen that my feed has been filled with Olympic commentary, much like many other people’s.

The rowing has been a particular highlight this year. I loved it in Beijing, but it’s been absolutely outstanding this year. The women in particular have done a sterling job, and in both of the women’s doubles gold medal races, I was ecstatically proud to see such fantastic wins.

The diving is always exciting. It’s extraordinary how quickly one, as a spectator, can pick up on the subtle nuances that constitute a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ dive. At first you’re sat there just saying ‘WOW! WOW! WOW!’ about every single dive, but a couple of rounds in, I was sat there screaming ‘NON-VERTICAL ENTRY! TOO MUCH SPLASH! POOR EXECUTION! BAD SYNCHRONISATION!’ Of course, it was a real shame about our men’s synchronised 10m platform diving (with Tom Daley), but hopefully he’ll turn it around in the individual diving in a few days. I can’t comprehend how brave they must be to throw themselves off a 10m platform into a pool in front of millions of viewers.

For a sport where not a lot can go wrong, swimming is a very exciting sport to watch. 200m is probably my favourite distance. The shorter races are hard to get into as they’re a bit blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, whereas the longer races get a bit tedious once the fastest swimmers have broken away. Phelps and Lochte have done an incredible job. Considering how many swimmers we’ve had entered, Team GB have maybe been a little disappointing, but we’ve put in some valiant efforts nonetheless.

Gymnastics has always been one of my favourites. The floor gymnastics is always a lot of fun to watch, and the rings always shows off the insane strength of the male gymnasts. The men’s team were fantastic, and although it’s a shame we were shafted from silver, the bronze medal was well-deserved and a nice addition to what was a somewhat sparse medal board for the Brits at the time. The women’s vaulting finals were dramatic today, with some pretty big falls for some of the gymnasts, and the men’s pommel horse finals showcased some fine British talent in the form of Louis Smith, who placed second, and Max Whitlock, who placed third.

The athletics has made for phenomenal viewing already, and it’s only been going for two days! Yesterday was a mindblowing performance for GB, with the medals rolling in, and Jessica Ennis’ heptathlon performance was such an achievement. If anyone will be encouraging more girls to take up sport as part of the London 2012 legacy, I think she’ll do it. She’s been the postergirl for the games, and she certainly didn’t disappoint.

As I write now, we’re third on the leaderboard, which is probably as high as we’ll manage, after the formidable China and USA, which is an incredible ranking for our tiny island! I also admit that I was wrong about the way it would be run: I have only praise and admiration for the slick way everything has gone. I’m going to be very sad when the Olympics are over, but for now, I’ll be enjoying the rest!

I’d also like to quickly mention Luke Winn at the 2012 Olympics – a really accessible, interesting look at the Olympics.

What have your Olympic highlights been so far?



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