Giant on the move
Double amputee Oscar Pistorius has put the disappointment of not qualifying for the Beijing Olympics behind him and is confident of snaring three gold medals in the athletics at the Paralympics.
He is also looking forward to an attempt to make the next Olympics in London 2012.
The 21-year-old South African, dubbed the ‘Blade Runner’ because of the prosthetic legs that enable him to sprint, won a legal battle in May for the right to participate in the Olympics, only to then fail to meet the qualifying time.
“I didn’t make the Olympics this time, I’m hoping for the future,” he told me just ahead of the Paralympics.
My abiding memory from these Games will be watching Usain Bolt give everything he had to break a world record most of us had thought unbreakable.
Michael Johnson’s time of 19.32 in the 200 metres had never been seriously challenged before the Jamaican sprinter, a headline writer’s dream, decided it was finally time to get down to some serious work.
The Beijing Olympic Games closed on Sunday, as China passed on the flame to London.
Former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch was in the habit of describing each Games as “the best ever”, with the notable exception of Atlanta in 1996.
Join us for the 16th and last podcast from the Beijing Olympics. We cast an eye back over the best moments of the Games, discuss Beijing’s world ranking and look ahead to quite a contrast with the next Olympics in London.
Julian Linden, Belinda Goldsmith, Nick Mulvenney and Robert F Woodward join me for the festivities. And Laura, that line at the start is really only a joke…
At the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. I shall never forget sitting in the front row and watching Ben Johnson hurtling towards the finish line in the 100 metres and then raising his hand aloft in an almost contemptuous “I am Number One” gesture.
Twenty years later, sitting — lucky me — in the front row again, my indelible memory of the Beijing Games will always be that magical last 100 metres when Usain Bolt looked left and right, spread his arms wide and thumped his chest for sheer joy.
Kenya’s hope for an Olympic marathon medal were dealt a blow when Robert Cheruiyot pulled out due to injury and three-times London marathon winner Martin Lel’s training was affected by flu. But Sammy Wanjiru saved the day and brought the marathon gold medal, proof that distance running is Africa’s forte.
Join us on the penultimate podcast from the Games for a look at Argentina’s win in the football, mixed feelings for Jamaica in the 4x100m relays and the prospect of Pearly Kings and Queens taking over the Bird’s Nest stadium.
Paul Radford, Al Himmer, Robert Woodward, Julian Linden and Paul Majendie join me around the laptop. Sorry about the end-of-term feel.
While speedsters from other nations have looked tense on the track at the Bird’s Nest, Usain Bolt and the women who swept the medals in the 100 metres have clearly been enjoying themselves.
Congratulations to Jamaica for completing a clean sweep in the men’s and women’s sprints at the Beijing Games on Thursday.
Veronica Campbell-Brown surged to 200 metres victory on Thursday, making it four golds from the four individual events and shutting out the U.S. for the first time since they boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980.
On another miserable day for Tyson Gay, the United States failed to make it to the final of the 4×100 metres relay after their latest case of baton bungling.
Britain, the defending Olympic champions, followed them out of the event when a messed up changeover led to their disqualification from a later heat.