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More than just an autograph


Frederique Jamolli’s job is to prise the most treasured items from the hands of newly-crowned Olympians.

Her job is to ask sprint champion Usain Bolt for his Jamaican vest or the pair of brightly coloured spikes worn by Cathy Freeman after her 400-metre win at Sydney in 2000.

Jamolli and her team of about five tour the Olympic villages asking for memorabilia to help fill the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Some sportsmen are anxious when approached, but many know their items will be well looked after.

“Most of the time they are very open, but we have to beΒ  very respectful because for them the sports equipment is something that is part of them, especially because we are asking for, if we can,Β the sports equipment used during the competition in which they won the medal,” she told Reuters.

Is free swimming worth the cost?


swimm.jpgThe over-60s will be able to take a dip at their local council pool for free across England from next year under government plans announced on Friday.

The scheme is costing 140 million pounds over two years, although part of the money will also be available for lifting admission costs for children under-16 and for maintainance work on ageing facilities. A similar scheme is already operating in Wales.