FROM PATSY McGONAGLE IN LONDON: The last time I put some words out there I was planning to head up from training camp to the village. Did that and it involved about 8 athletes and myself in the parade.
Led out by Katie Taylor – no airs and graces with her just a grounded girl with a job to do here in London in the coming days.
People seem to have had a positive reaction to the opening ceremony but of course you definitely see the proceedings much better back at home but adversely when we are there in the middle of it, it gives a different experience.
I can now say I’ve heard the Arctic Monkeys!
The BBC seem to be doing a mighty job as host broadcaster and in downtime of which there is little I catch that. Hopefully one of the absolute legacies of these Games wil be that young people will be inspired to participate in an activity that they have just seen on television.
We get the Irish papers everyday both in the camp and the village and there are the articles about childhood obesity, sports funding, support etc etc i have read them all before and honestly I don’t see the support for the club/school support structured link that needs to happen.
What’s the problem? Well it has to be a stated national government-led educational departure approach. No more silly launches of this and that led out by somebody in a new shirt and tie plus a grand suit that within days are forgotten about.
It’s really hard when you care, you understand, you see what’s happening and you witness the benefit of exercise both mentally physically and add in socially.
Thank goodness for the parents and the teachers AND the volunteers that DO CARE – the country owes them bigtime.
All going smooth in the camp with the training with everyone bar possibly 2 in moving into village again tomorrow.
It’s about an hour twenty on the train right to the door. Team meeting later this evening to hammer home a few points, organise a team shot and confirm the absolute plans of all athletes arrival into village.
The village houses some 15000 people coaches, athletes officials and is a busy daunting place a high performance environment with the greatest athletes in the world from so many disciplines representing 206 countries.
Security is very evident but not invasive led by the army and police supported by volunteers- thousands of them – and it must be said loud and clear doing an unbelievable job.
They are here all human shapes and sizes relative to the particular sport from chinese gymnastics to giant NBA basketball stars the Dream team and lording it over the lot the biggest global hit of all – yes you have guessed it – Usain Bolt, needing the protection of his fellow Jamacian athletes most of the time.
You’ll find him in the McDonald’s section of the massive canteen if you want to hang around…. I know, I know, I know but when referencing the Bolt man all the script goes out the window.
Will he win the 100M? at this moment I’d say Yes. It’s a ‘must see’.
Watched the cycle race which skirted at the top of our road here in West London that was an experience on so many levels the crowds they say 1 million were out on the route and the policing of the event class.
The English people have got into these Games in a most post manner. You attempt to live in this Olympic thing this massive global bubble as if it is normal life – sure you have been here in this environment since 99 but it’s exciting to the extreme still yet challenging always different and you are just so delighted it’s in London.
It kicks off for us Friday 3 athletes in competition with Tori – whose birthday it is today – on Saturday morning.
Well done to Chloe Magee…huge respect for her and the Magees. I was in Beijing as was Chloe but we never got together to chat really got to know them this time and I was glad of that.
I can’t leave without mentioning the young athletes back in Finn Valley who once again excelled in nationals over the weekend in Tullamore.
And at quiet times removed I think about how privileged I am to lead these people, dedicated community volunteers who in their own way give so much of themselves to coach the young and indeed thankfully more so in recent times and it’s relating to them as much as anything that drives me on. Respect.