Jump! How high?
1st June 2011

So, who has booked their place in the Olympic Stadium next summer? It’s a question many of us will have been pondering in recent weeks, eager to find out whether we have struck lucky in the ballot and placed successful ticket applications. It’s not often that you wait in hopeful expectation of seeing your bank balance decimated, but that’s precisely what most of us have been doing of late – “What, still no exorbitant charge has hit my account?! Come on Lord Coe, take my money goddamit!”

In theory we should now know by now. Perhaps not the precise details such as which sports, which days, which venues and which seats – have some patience people, this is a big event after all – but at least whether we have got tickets to something. In reality I think it’s going to take a little bit longer to get clear on even that, but at least within the next month or so we should all know our destinies.

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Great Expectations
31st May 2011

Clever types sometimes debate the theory of 'hedonic adaptation', which claims that after experiencing changes for the better or worse in our circumstances, we swiftly adapt to them and our levels of happiness and relative expectation revert quickly back to 'normal'.

56k dial-up internet access from my desktop was once greeted with euphoria – oh the possibilities of this new world! – now I'm ready to throw my laptop out the window if I can't connect wirelessly to superfast broadband in Starbucks. Actually, it's ridiculous in this day and age that I even need to find a wireless connection - why can't I get online via a 3G signal...

I was reminded of this at the end of last week following Usain Bolt's 100m win at the Diamond League event in Rome. Yes, he won, but unfortunately he 'only' managed to do so in a time of 9.91 seconds. Never mind that 9.91s is a time fewer than 25 people have achieved in history at any stage in their careers, let alone in their first race of a post-injury comeback season: by his standards – as we now perceive them to be – he was dawdling.


Give It Everything - And Enjoy The Journey
15th February 2011
Written by and sent in by MC

It's not life or death - but for those directly involved, never mind the fans, it can certainly seem that way sometimes. Ever met an injured athlete? Rarely likely to be somebody full of the joys of spring. So spare a thought this week for young Steph Twell, Commonwealth medallist and former World Junior champion, who will be coming to terms with a nasty ankle injury sustained on Sunday. The extent of the damage is at the time of writing unclear, however from the reports emerging it seems likely that it will result in a lengthy layoff. Will it impact on her ambitions for the World Championships in Daegu this summer? Time will tell - certainly an enforced break will not have been part of her plans. Will it impact on her ambitions for the Olympic Games in London next summer? Time will also tell, although one would have to hope that her misfortune has struck early enough and is not of such a magnitude to threaten her performance that far out. But it is by no means ideal for Steph, even if she can perhaps comfort herself by looking to the many examples of athletes who have faced injury despair and somehow managed to turn it to their advantage. What doesn’t kill you…


Why The Athletics Legacy Matters
Thursday 3rd February

Written by and sent in by MC

Athletics frequently likes to trumpet that, by all accounts, it is the country’s most popular ‘second favourite’ sport – as in when people are asked to list their favourite sports, athletics appears in second place more than any other. While it would be nicer to shout about the number of people who rank it as their favourite, we (I say ‘we’ – I am one of the aficionados who would indeed list it as number one) should arguably be content with second place. It’s worth remembering that, by the time next summer rolls around, there will be an awful lot of people who would gladly swap Olympic finalists on the track for an England football team in the final of Euro 2012. So being considered the most popular second most popular sport is probably not such a bad result.


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