Last night I saw the annual Fireworks Concert that marks the end of the Edinburgh Festival. I don’t know if it was something to do with being spoilt by the Olympic fireworks or just because of the idiots around us on Calton Hill but I wasn’t as impressed as last year. Also unlike last year I somehow didn’t step foot in the Spiegeltent all month. That’s not to say that I had a quiet August of it what with leaving parties, birthdays, barbeques and the like.

My plan for the next couple of months is to get back into some semblence of fitness. I’ve not really done much exercise apart from a few short games of Ultimate since March and it’s beginning to show. I felt a very definite wobble around my middle when I was running down the stairs the other day and it didn’t feel good. However, my mum claims that she thinks that I “suit a bit of weight” and will try to stir double cream through my porage whenever I’m visiting.

The weather hasn’t exactly helped me get out and do anything as it feels like it has rained every single day since getting back from my travels. I’ve finally got around to taking my gym membership off hold so I should be able to motivate myself to do something active now that I’m paying fees once again!

Olympic review

I’ve just been reviewing some amazing photographs and recalling some great memories from a stunning couple of weeks of sport. I guess that’s what you’d be wanting after spending £20 billion on something in a way that a democracy just couldn’t do. I must admit that I’m suffering from a hefty case of post-Olympic come-down. The days ahead just seem so . . . empty somehow.

Continue reading Olympic review

Jia you!

I managed to hog most of the bandwidth in the office yesterday watching the BBC’s online stream of the Olympic opening ceremony at the Bird’s Nest and was suitably impressed. I’ve subscribed to the events schedule and again was blown away by the sheer number of events that are taking place.

I really enjoy the Olympics and am constantly amazed by the dedication of professional athletes. Until the Nerdlympics become popular I think that I will just have to enjoy watching from the comfort of the sofa.

I’m pretty sure that Team GB will achieve the modest medal target it set for itself but I don’t think that we’ll ever see the dizzy heights of 1908 as shown on this great interactive medal table from the New York Times that charts country performance since the inception of the modern Games back in 1896.

Citius, Altius, Fortius

It may have escaped your notice but today the Olympic Games kicked off (quite literally, with the women’s football) — a whole two days before the opening ceremony on Friday. Even at this late stage China has decided to go back on their pledge on free expression. Not content with quashing protests of those already in the country, China have revoked the visa of a gold-medal-winning Olympian. Joey Cheek is a speed skater who also co-founded Team Darfur.

I’m not for mixing sport and politics at all but given China’s human rights record this was pretty much inevitable.

Sport sport sport sport sport

I returned to the MCG yesterday for a stadium tour and visit to the National Sports Museum. The MCG has 100,000 members, 200 of which volunteer to give the tours. Our guide for the day was a elderly chap named Eric who put his name on the waiting list for membership in 1959. He finally became a member in 1981. Nowadays you can still expect to wait around 21 years and there is a select group of people that have been members for over 50 years. It is not a young demographic.

While on the pitch we were treated to an impromptu bird of prey show as a hawk was exercised to ward off other birds from the stadium. Not a bad idea but it could do with being done on a match day too as the amount of aggressive gulls scavenging was bordering on unsettling. Still, not as bad as Circular Quay in Sydney where I witnessed two separate seagull attacks on people having lunch, swooping down and knocking the food out of their hands.

The museum was obviously extremely biased towards all things Australian. There are special sections for the Olympics, AFL, cricket and an interactive zone where you can test yourself at various sporting activities. In theory at least: it’s the school holidays here and I couldn’t get to try anything.

Considering the plethora of stadia and facilities around the MCG (the Vodafone arena and Rod Laver Arena for instance) and the sterotypical fit, bronzed, Aussie surfer, it came as a bit of a shock to most when Australia took over the mantle of fattest nation on Earth last week.