Tag Archives: Olympics

Gold for London 2012 – A marathon event.

As you clever people probably know, the marathon sporting event got its name from The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC between the Persians, under Darius I, and Athens.

A force of 10,000 Athenians took on an estimated 600,000 invading Persians on the plains of Marathon, north east of Athens.

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Marathon today. (Or yesterday. Not sure when it was taken.)

Under cover of darkness the Athenian hoplites dished out some Greek whupass killing an estimated 6,500 Persians while suffering a meagre 200 dead in reply.

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Athenian hoplites

Pheidippides, a Greek messenger, was promptly dispatched from Marathon to Athens to herald their great victory over the Persians. And the distance? 26 miles, of course. Hence, why the marathon is 26 miles in length.

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You can still visit the Plains of Marathon where the battle took place. But, unfortunately, due to global realignment, it’s been renamed The Battle of Snickers.

That extremely clunky segue leads me on to the point of this post: London 2012 Olympic Games.

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about an ad by Channel 4 for the Paralympics called Meet the Superhumans, stating that I didn’t have much interest in the Olympics.

But, after Danny Boyle’s [et al] Olympic opening ceremony, I was absolutely gripped by London 2012 fever.

Diametrically apposed to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, this was a celebration of what makes Britain – its people. Everything from farmers and factory workers to suburban life and our glorious NHS.

Music, dance, literature, art, comedy, it was all there in surreal bucket loads. (Could’ve done without the whole Queen nonsense, mind.)

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London 2012 opening ceremony

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London 2012 opening ceremony

To me, the London 2012 Olympics have helped me define what it means to be British. Not whether I am English or part of a group of home nations called England, Scotland and Wales. But a veritable smorgasbord of eclectic cultures and diverse backgrounds from all over the globe.

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London 2012 opening ceremony

London 2012 opening ceremony

London 2012 opening ceremony

London 2012 opening ceremony

The London 2012 Olympics made me feel proud to be British.

Our athletes are the true knights of the realm.

Not business people. Business people get money. That is their reward. That is what they strive for. They don’t do it for Britain. They do it for themselves. And that’s fine. That’s their path.

These athletes chose a different path. They have sacrificed everything just to be called an Olympian. And, maybe, just maybe, be great enough to win a medal.

On Mount Olympus, the mighty Zeus would have made Jessica Ennis a demi-goddess.

Here are just a few of my personal highlights, but I take nothing away from all the other athletes who took part and made it a festival of sport worthy of the ancient gods of Olympus.

I salute you all.

Mo Farah, 5k and 10k

Andy Murray after whuppin’ Federer.

Jade Jones, taekwondo.

Beth Tweddle, gymnastics.

Bradley Wiggins, cycling.

The Brownlee bros., triathlon.

Nicola Adams, first ever woman to win an Olympic medal in boxing. (And she’s from Leeds!)

Jason Kenny, riding a bike.

Laura Trott, going for a jaunt.

The legend – Victoria Pendleton sharing the love.

The demi-goddess, Jessica Ennis, heptathlon.


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Meet the Superhumans

If you don’t live in London, but you do live somewhere else in England, you might be a bit fed up of hearing the media banging on about what legacies London 2012 will leave for the rest of Britain.

Well, the clue’s in the name, people!

I live in sunny Stockport, in the northwest of England, and I couldn’t give a rat’s ass what kind of legacy London 2012 will leave for Manchester.

We had the Empire Games back in 2002. And we still have loads of lovely legacies such as the Etihad Stadium, where Man City play. Then there’s the velodrome, where people can ride their bikes… I get a bit stuck after that.

You don’t hear Londoners whingeing about the Commonwealth games not leaving a legacy in t’ Big Smoke.

They’re not our games.

It’s a non-question. It’s non-news.

To be honest, the Olympics don’t do a lot for me in terms of sporting excitement.

I’m more of a turn on a sixpence put it in the back of the onion sack kind of bloke.

What does excite me though, is this ad for the Paralympics by those lovely people at Channel 4.

It really makes me want to watch the Paralympics much, much more than the Olympics because of their Superhuman attitudes and abilities.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting for one second that Olympians are any less motivated or hard working than Paralympians.

But, because I’m not that interested in the Olympics, it would have to take something superdooper special to get me interested. And this does.

Yes, it’s a little bit predictably shot, but it does get the hairs on the back of my neck standing, so job done. Not all ads are aimed at the head.

Not only is it a great ad. But I’m really looking forward to seeing some of these gladiators in action.


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