The Aussie press is having a go at their athletes for failing to turn silver into gold, but what has happened to Australian sport? When I was growing up, Wimbledon was almost a suburb of Sydney or Brisbane, with win after win by a never-ending stream of players. Then more recently, the cricketers were invincible. So why has this happened?
I’ve just done a bit of research on London’s Olympic medallists and have found that one of the UK’s least populous counties, Cornwall, has won two gold medals; Helen Glover and Ben Ainslie, to Australia’s one.
Perhaps our athletes are doing better as they get a post box painted gold in their honour, in their home town. It costs us nothing, as we get bankers to do as a tax allowable expense.
And if that wasn’t enough shame, Wales, Scotland and Yorkshire have also got more gold medals than Australia. My adopted county, Suffolk may not get a gold medal. But here’s hoping!
I’m not comparing anything, but their use for football, as I’ve experienced both in the last few days.
I’d say Wembley is very Jaguar, whereas the much less expediently-built stadium in Cardiff is more Audi, with more concrete and wood and less marble.
On the other hand, the sight lines in Cardiff, may even be better to those at Wembley. You also seem to closer to the action. I wonder, if this is because it is a much squarer stadium than Wembley. Only an architect with experience of sports grounds would know.
Food in both stadia is the usual gluten-rich junk, but then as the Millennium Stadium is in the centre of Cardiff, anybody who like me is choosy with his food will eat off-stadium. That is not really an option at Wembley, so I always eat before I leave home or in the centre of London.
The Millennium Stadium does lose on access to the trains, whereas Wembley has improved greatly in the last ten years. I believe Cardiff Central station is being rebuilt, so hopefully, better access will come. But a nearly three hour wait for a train to London is unacceptable, even if First Great Western were their usual helpful self, even handing out bottled water.
I did try to get to the womens football on Friday in Coventry, but there no tickets available. As they lost to Canada, I wasn’t that bothered, especially, as like many men, I’ll look upon the women’s side of the game in a different light.
I did go to Cardiff yesterday to see the men lose on penalties to South Korea.
I’m sure the system of deciding matches on penalties, was brought in by sneaky foreigners to make sure we never win anything.
On Friday, I went to the ExCel Arena to see some boxing.
It was the first time, I’d seen amateur boxing, or in fact any type of boxing live. One vivid memory at about the age of about eight was seeing the UK, whitewash the United States, ten-nil on the television one evening. In that match, Billy Walker knocked-out the giant Cornelius Perry with one punch. The story is in Billy’s Wikipedia entry.
The last few pictures show Freddie Evans progressing to the last eight.
As a ten-year-old or so, I used to bunk the engine sheds in East London to collect the numbers of the steam engines stabled there at the motive power depot. It was a massive place, as the number of engines needed to power services into East Anglia and Essex was very large. Many were being scrapped, as electrification of the suburban lines out of Liverpool Street continued.
Much of the site was cleared for HS1, the link to the Channel Tunnel from St. Pancras, but much of the area ended up a derelict site, supporting large numbers of businesses.
But it was here in Stratford, that the Olympic site was created.
So are the ghosts of those long-dead steam engines powering Great Britain on?