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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Vive la Tour, Faster Higher Stronger To Infinity and Beyond.

Well folks, the end of August approaches and I have had time to digest and cogitate recent sporting activities. I have needed this time due to spending a couple of weeks in a darkened room looking after the Olympics.

I will start with the first of the recent sporting events, the 2012 version of the Tour de France.

Way to go Team Sky! 5 years you said. A five year plan to get a Brit to the end of the race in the Malliot Jaune. 3 years was none too shabby was it?

I was absolutely glued to the TV coverage, revelling in the performance of Bradley Wiggins and his crew. Mark Cavendish, the worlds premier sprinter, current road race world champion and all round good egg gets 3 more stage wins under his belt including another Champs Elysees victory whilst doing his bit as part of the team, protecting Wiggo, bidon runs to the team car etc. Chris Froome acting as the best Lieutenant Wiggo could have asked for, sticking with him through thick and thin and getting a stage win of his own in the process. Edvald Boasson hagen, Christian Knees, Richin Porte, Bernhard Eisel, Michael Rogers, Kanstantsin Sivtsov- they all paled an important part in what was for me, a fantastic Tour. Wiggo nailing both the time trials was awesome to watch.

Outside of Team Sky, there were other ace displays of cycling. Peter Sagan hamming it up as he claimed stage victories brought a smile to my face. David Millar bagging a stage win for Garmin Sharp, the ‘encouragement’ being given to Thibaut Pinot of FDJ Bigmat as he rode to his stage victory- brilliant.

Vive la Tour and roll on 2013!

Next on the list is the Olympic Games.

I spent just over two weeks working in a back office function looking after the games so didn’t get to see anything up close and personal. All of my Olympic experience was gained through TV coverage and what awesome coverage it was. From the Danny Boyle produced opening ceremony to the party atmosphere of the closing ceremony I was hooked. This was despite my typically British mood of doom, gloom and despondency (probably fuelled by not getting tickets). How wrong could I be. I think that we Brits should step back, take a good look at the show we put on and then give ourselves a bloody good pat on the back. It went almost flawlessly which isn’t a bad thing to be able to say for such and grand scale event.

Not only did the organisation go well, the athletes of the world did us proud too. Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) is the motto and athletes went faster, they went higher and they were stronger.

Well done to all the athletes that took part and did their best. I am going to be a bit partisan here and pile particular praise on the home team. Team GB did us proud I I thank you all.

Finally, I want to say farewell to a hero of my childhood. Neil Alden Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon passed away on Saturday 25th August aged 82.

I am a child of the Apollo years and lived and breathed the space programme. I remember my Dad getting me out of bed as a near 7 year old to watch the live coverage of Neil’s ‘One small step’. A true hero in my eyes.