Giant on the move
Yesterday I took a mean swipe at sports journalists for the vacuous questions they put to athletes. I must tip my baseball cap today, however, to the reporter who asked Usain Bolt how the fastest man in the world had spent his day.
It seems the Jamaican did a lot of time sleeping, and in between feasted on “nuggets”.
It took Bolt senior, speaking from Jamaica, to put the record straight — and perhaps deter millions of adoring young athletes from a lifetime of fast food. His son’s gold medal, Wellesley Bolt said, was the result of a diet rich with the vegetable yam.
I can see it now: the McYam Happy Meal.
Maybe there is something special in root vegetables like yam. The secret of Samoan weighlifter Ele Opeloge’s strength, according to her coach, is a variety known as taro.
No doubt the majority of other Olympians in Beijing are eating an exemplary diet packed with fruit, vegetables, tasty tubers and other unprocessed food. Still, the McDonald’s restaurant at the athletes’ village has been doing brisk trade.
Fraser finished ahead of Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson, who dead-heated for silver in a Jamaican clean sweep at the Bird’s Nest on Sunday.
The podcast team reflect on insane Usain, Phelps fatigue and the most dangerous man at the Beijing Olympics.
I’m joined by Julian Linden, Belinda Goldsmith, Brian Homewood, Erik Kirschbaum and Neil Maidment to look at the dafter side of the Beijing Games.
As Usain Bolt coasted past my press seat in a burst of speed and swagger on Saturday night, splaying his arms and pumping his chest as he crossed the 100 metres finish line, it was just the buzz everyone had promised me from my first Olympics.
I was there to report on the atmosphere at the Games’ blue riband event, but involuntarily found myself screaming encouragement, then laughing in joy and awe. As he ran around the track in delighted celebration, I was close to tears.
The American swimming great was still wet from winning his unprecedented eighth gold when he dedicated his victory to — swimming.
At his press conference Michael Phelps did it again, telling awed journalists that the seven new world records, 14 career golds and all the sweat that went into attaining them, would serve “my goal of raising the sport of swimming in the U.S. as high as it can go.”
Britta Steffen had hardly dried off after completing the freestyle sprint double when she started thanking her psychologist, Frederike Janofsky.
“I’m happy that hard work in training and working with the mental trainer paid off,” she said. “It was all in the mind. I didn’t expect it. To win here again is fantastic.”
I respect Paula Radcliffe for finishing the Olympic marathon, especially since she was clearly in agonising pain, but I don’t understand her decision to race in the first place.
The Olympics seem to be an excuse for thinking you can do anything to your body without paying a price. But there is a price and the problem is that athletes pay it once the cameras stop rolling.
Michael Phelps completed his record-breaking haul of eight gold medals at one Games on Sunday, beating fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz’s seven from Munich in 1972.
This one was never in much doubt — in stark contrast to the ‘fingernail’ win in yesterday’s butterfly — as he and his American team won the 4 x 100 metres medley relay comfortably. It took his overall tally to 14 from two Games.
Picture of the day has to be the victory celebration of the fastest man on earth, Jamaican Usain Bolt, after winning Olympic gold at the 100 m sprint.
This picture was shot by London-based Reuters staff photographer Dylan Martinez and the composition is perfect.