Had a lie in. Had breakfast. Read some blogs. Checked my emails. Made lunch, which was bacon, mushrooms, black pudding, beans, sourdough toast, eggs and several pangs of conscience – it was not really what I should be eating. Watched Olympic closedown and Murder She Wrote. Dozed in front of TV. Made tea – heavy on the salad. Watched Professor T. Sat down to write, but ended up reading more blogs. It’s now 10.45 and I really should do some work. Julia spent her day making a hobby horse, entering her Covid test results on the Mencap system, making apple crumbles, blanching and freezing beans and topping up the shopping after last night’s pathetically inadequate performance by Tesco – 2 questionable substitutions and 10 items not available. She also watched TV and ate. I really don’t know how she fits it all in.
I am ambivalent about the Olympics. There have been some great stories, and some heroic triumphs. However, it’s also true to say that a lot of rubbish has also been spoken. Tonight it has principally been about Jason Kenny being our greatest ever Olympic athlete. That is simply not true. He is certainly a great athlete, and has won more Olympic medals than anyone else in Team GB. He also seems to be a pleasant person, which isn’t always the case with successful athletes.
To be fair, he hasn’t said anything about it, it is journalists who have been making the claim. Our top four medal winners come from cycling, a sport that has been highly organised over the last twenty years, extensively financed and where there are plenty of medals on offer. Does that make them great, or does it just make them prolific? Steve Redgrave, on the other hand, won his five golds in five consecutive Olympiads. What’s more, he won several of them before the current funding system came in and he won despite suffering from ulcerative colitis and diabetes. If you want to see a candidate for a great Olympian, try him.
Or Eric Liddell. He only won one gold medal. He could have won more, but he wouldn’t run on Sundays and he had a short running career because he returned to China to work as a missionary. He also had a short but successful rugby career playing for Scotland. It’s hard, despite his solitary gold medal, to say that he doesn’t measure up.
The featured image is a sailing boat – they sail in the Olympics. It’s a tenuous link.