A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one. It’s alright, it’s only plagiarism if you fail to acknowledge your source. In this instance, for those who haven’t already cottoned on, those are the immortal words of John Candy’s character Irving Blitzer from the film Cool Runnings. And he’s saying this: an Olympic medal doesn’t form your personality.… Continue Reading Road to Rio: Part 6
I remember my first gold medal winner. My first world record holder. First prisoner of war, first best-selling author. They were guests, targets if you want, I’d hoped to tick off during the passage of some unspecified time frame. The thing is, the things you plan and prepare for – sometimes they work out and other times they don’t. Come to think of it, it was professional dancer Gordana Grandosek-Whiddon… Continue Reading An Olympic Fashion Show
249 days as I write this. 249 days until the start of the summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero next year. And what happened to that fleeting wedge of time that slipped by since London 2012? Time flies as they say. But if you’re an athlete with eyes on Olympic qualification it flicks by at light speed. So it is, I can but imagine, for Esther who must keep shaving… Continue Reading Road to Rio 5
In front of the Hôtel de Paris in the centre of Monte Carlo is one of the most prestigious parking spots in the world. It sits almost in the middle of the road, and it is more of a stage than simply a place to park your car. Today it is occupied by a red Ferrari 458. There are a lot of Ferraris in Monte Carlo. Slightly fewer Lamborghinis. Bentleys are… Continue Reading Monte Carlo or Bust. Or: Success in Saint Tropez.
I like the heat. Which is fine, because as I pen these words it’s 35 degrees outside, the hottest July day on record by all accounts. Now I realise that to those of you residing outside of the UK the mid-thirties might not sound like a particularly vertiginous climb for the mercury bar. But for us brits, since we never experience extremes in temperature (or any meteorological manifestation), anything above 30C and… Continue Reading #RoadtoRio: Part 4
Lewis Hamilton once said of team mate Nico Rossberg: “We are not friends. We are colleagues.” That might have come during one of the more fractious points of their delicate working relationship, but without a doubt, for two sportsmen locked in competition day in, day out, maintaining a workable bond has proven as precipitous as any of the hairpin bends they must negotiate come race day. In her book On The… Continue Reading #RoadtoRio: Part 3
Ever wondered what it takes to become an Olympian? Cue a string of metaphors: iron resolve, pit-bull tenacity, herculean effort. I’m a writer so I should be at home with the occasional analogy and a little creative rhetoric, but the truth is I can’t come up with anything that doesn’t sound clichéd. And that, frankly, does an injustice to those athletes who compete at the very pinnacle of their sport.… Continue Reading Road to Rio Part 2
Fast Facts: Pursuit: Sprinter, Vitality Coach, Rio 2016 Hopeful! Definition of success: “if you know that you’ve done everything within your own power to reach a goal you set, you’re already successful.” I think it started in Beijing for me. Or possibly Athens. I told my family: ‘We’re going to the next Olympics.’ But 2008 rolled by and the closest to the action we got was a few metres from… Continue Reading Esther Akihary: Road to Rio Part 1
I know – I know: it’s been weeks since we’ve had an instalment in the Defining Success chapter but, in my defence, I’ve been busy with guests. Anyway, you don’t mind – what, you think I’m too wrapped up in my own thoughts to know that really, it’s their words you want to hear more than mine? It’s okay, you can admit it. Nevertheless – you needn’t think I am… Continue Reading Part 6. Success: witnessed
It’s about this time that I ought to be penning Part 6 of my ‘Defining Success’ series, but so struck was I by the compulsion to support a previous guest that I’ve taken a brief detour. Don’t worry, I’ll be back on track shortly with my observations on selfish versus selfless, but for now there’s something at least more timely that needs our attention.. First of all a confession:… Continue Reading BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014: Who and Why?