By Graham Morrison
August 15, 2008
Kayak racer Michael Kolganov carried the flag for Israeli in what most people thought was the best ever opening ceremony. I heard some say it was also the most expensiveof all time. I returned to my hotel to try and fix some glitches with my email programme and missed much of it although I did get to see the Israeli team enter though.
The glitches refused to go away; first I could receive mail but not send. That was fixed and all was fine but then it went wobbly again and I could send but not receive. Then everything stopped.
As a call to the provider's helpline in London would likely upset my bank manager, my wife called (she stayed in London). The help line proved about as useful as a £3 note. So for now I'm using web-mail and my wife will call the provider, who shall remain name-less, again. A few Yiddish words spring to mind. I learned long before we were married not to argue with Israeli women - my provider is likely about to learn the same lesson.
But life must go on. Sunday the rains came, along with a thunderstorm or two. Here, they post up lightning warnings and one duly appeared in the MPC. I was happy then that I decided to look at the fencing. The snappers had a miserable time doing the cycle road race. Sada Jacobson, who regular readers might have spotted on the back pages occasionally, was competing. The last time the JC published her it was a feature on the family and a well-known US Congressman took it along to the House of Representatives. Sada went to Yale, so I guess that was a real good prompt for GWB Snr, who also went to Yale, to turn up to see her. Anyway in the absence of any GB fencers I had hoped she'd get the gold, but I was happy for her family that she got the silver.
My old friend Jeff Bukantz, one of the US team captains, also met GWB Snr and got a big hug form him. Lots of people write books about their life, sporting prowess, etc, and Jeff has too. But Jeff's book was different. Many of these books are either somewhat sanctimonious or just downright obsequious. Jeff actually told it like it was on the greasy pole of international sport.
Everybody was happy at the women's cycle result. Apart from the GB gold, it was Nicole Cooke's reactions as she crossed the line that put even the most jaded journos in a good mood. Her facial expression looked to me just like Stephi Cook's as she took the pentathlon gold in the world championships in Britain a few years ago, clinching it at the last.
Happy also with Britain's other medals to date. It's no fun at all keep writing about another ‘brave last'. I've never actually used that expression, maybe because only winners are of interest. But I came close today - said ‘brave rally' instead as the British woman fencer struggled for a half decent score; but she did have the grace to say she'd learn and move on. At least she didn't blame everyone except herself for a rotten performance. Josh West starts his campaign soon - let's hope fortune is with him at the Olympics this time.