Guy goes to archery and no one has an apple on his head
Sorry I’m a bit late but this morning I was an expert in …
Yep, renewed my membership in the Canadian Archery Writers Association this morning out at Lords, watching Toronto’s Crispin Duenas finish eight of 64 in the individual men’s ranking round.
That’s good, right?
Well, sort of, he said.
“Believe it or not, today was kind of a rough day for me, I know I can shoot a lot better than I did today but I’m really glad I came out with the result that I did.
“The rain didn’t bug me at all and there was no wind so that was really perfect, it was just perfect shooting conditions for me, unfortunately I didn’t do as well as I wanted but I wanted a top 10 finish for today and even with bad shooting I got it.”
Anyway, he goes into Monday’s elimination round ranked No. 8 and gets Egypt’s Ahmed El-Nemr in the round of 32.
But the real reason I went?
To see Lord’s Cricket Ground.
It’s almost 200 years old, seats about 28,500, is hallowed land to the sport and I’m glad I got there. It was one of the must-see venues, too bad there was a bit of a drizzle so the picture thing didn’t quite work.
My man Crispin – wrote about him in Beijing, I believe, which would have been the last time I wrote about archery – was kind of cool with the facility, too.
“I want to know how they do their grass because in a 70-metre by three-metre area (the length and width of the shooting lane), I only saw two weeds and in my grass, which is five metres by five metres, I’ve got I don’t know how many. I have to talk to their groundskeeper.”
The sound you hear is some groundskeeper getting fired because of the two weeds.
So, you’ve all heard of Flat Stanley, right? Little kids story about the cardboard cutout who travels all around the world as something of a teaching tool?
Well, we’ve got Flat Randy here to honour Mr. Starkman. Dozens of ‘em are floating around the Games and we’ll present the final book of pictures to his family sometime.
Yep, I got one. And he went to the Ship Tavern with me the other night.
Didn’t really look at it much, to tell you the truth.
Do know we’re travelling Christmas Day and that bites but after going through last year, this one’s a snap.
So we’re sitting on a patio outside the main press centre sipping yesterday afternoon when one of us gets the bright idea that we need some snacks.
And, no, not McDonalds.
So what’s Not Grace Kelly find?
Mixed vegetable crisps.
Little shriveled vegetables passed off as potato chips and, I tell you, if there’s a more conflict-inducing snack than healthy vegetables that look like chips, I can’t think what it would be.
Joe Jackson, anyone?
Brian Williams is, without a doubt, one of the all-time greats.
Can’t think of a more authoritative Olympic voice than him, it’s not a Games without him and when we ran into each other yesterday, it was an honour to share some time.
And, trust me, when he’s talking you through the parade of athletes during the ceremonies tonight, all those little snippets of information he’ll give you come only after hours and hours of hard work and preparation.
We got a look at his briefing book, a binder that had to be three inches thick and, sure, he’s got all kinds of research monkeys that have provided him with information but he had so many hand-written notes, little facts he’s picked up because he’s a voracious reader of newspapers, that he probably could have done it all himself.
Oh, to live in the fast lane.
I’m walking down the little High Street they’ve set up here between the Main Press Centre and the International Broadcast Centre – a row of shops and bars and post offices and the like – and I see two people sitting with Starbucks cups.
Me being, you know, starved for coffee and unable to find a Starbucks in the Olympic Park, had to stop and ask where they found it because I need to go there.
Well, it seems there actually isn’t one. Not unless you’ve got a credential that’ll get you in the NBC compound because THEY HAVE THEIR OWN STINKING STARBUCKS!
We have a little jam-packed coffee kiosk that makes a passable latte but not anything like I’m used to.
No alleys last night, nice little reception at Canada Olympic House in Trafalgar Square and then some quick fellowship at some joint around the corner.
And remember how I told you that you can just walk out of pubs with your pint and stand outside?
Well, it works well in alleys, not so much on main streets. In fact, this joint – and I didn’t get the name – had painted a white line that patrons weren’t supposed to cross lest they get smacked by some cab coming around a tight corner.
And the pub seemed to have in its employ a young bloke whose only job was to make sure no one crossed that line, as we were reminded about a billion times.
No one did, though, and everyone escaped without be slammed by an oncoming vehicle on the wrong side of the road.
Okay, off to write another archery story, maybe do some basketball and perhaps find a stool to watch the ceremonies. We only got two tickets and that’s cool with me.