Of blade runners, basketball, movies ... and, of course, a pub
Little items today.
A few of them but nothing really stands out.
Sentences I never thought I’d utter.
(To a volunteer in the main press centre as I was writing my track story)
“Ma’am, could you please change the channel on that television to badminton?”
In our Adventures In Pubs part of this shindig, finally found a Samuel Smith joint, the Princess Louise on High Holborn just a stone’s throw from the hotel.
Sam Smith’s Organic Lager might be the favourite beverage of that ilk anywhere in the world; crisp, not too heavy and you can’t find it everywhere. Think the barman said there were less than 40 Sam Smith pubs in the city – not including Free Houses, I would think – and it was a pretty good find.
And if you find it in a 140-year-old pub with all kinds of snugs and tiny rooms with ornate wainscoting and some mirrors that were part of the original structure, you’ve hit the motherlode.
Yes, this trip isn’t half bad at all.
Yes, they take their warnings seriously around these parts. Saw this on some electric relay station or something outside the main press centre.
It’s about 8 a.m., I’m going on about four hours sleep again with a long day of track, basketball and then track ahead.
I do not need, at any level, a group of exuberant volunteers a few rows down singing Happy Birthday to someone.
Someone needs to explain to me how a list of the best movies ever comes out and not only does Citizen Kane get kicked out of first place, it’s kicked out for Vertigo.
Vertigo isn’t even Hitchcock’s best, every right-thinking person in the world knows that Rear Window is Alfred’s best, let along the best ever.
These people need to give their collective heads a shake.
So as I’m researching the track story, I have to find some Oscar Pistorius quotes, or at least some background information on the South African blade runner.
And it seems he had a press conference somewhere here this week and there’s a nice full transcript.
Quote of the day on how his Mom influenced him is priceless:
"My mother said to us one morning, 'Carl (his brother), you put on your shoes, and Oscar, you put on your prosthetic legs.’ And that was the last we heard of it. I didn't grow up thinking I had a disability, I grew up thinking I had different shoes.”
Pretty good, no?
However, I’m not entirely sure I agree with the Court of Arbitration’s decision to overturn the IAAF’s ruling that he not be allowed to compete here.
It’s a tough one, no doubt. He’s met the qualification standards, there is medical evidence that there is no physical advantage to racing on prosthetics and those are probably the two biggest issues.
But it gets dicey in my mind. And you need to know I all about inclusiveness and think treating people equally well regardless of almost any circumstances.
But here? Here I think Pistorius should probably be in the Paralympics. Those are the Games that put him, so to speak, on equal footing with his other competitors, his presence there will, in some way, raise the bar for other amputees, he gives them a standard to try to meet.
I think if there’s a “cause” to advance, it might be best that he advance it against others in similar circumstances.
I don’t know though. I could probably be talked into changing my mind because his presence in the Olympics could very well stir others on to try and match his accomplishments and proves how we should not view amputees as different but as normal athletes.
Either way, it’s a pretty good story and that’s a pretty good quote.
You know me and roundabouts (or traffic circles as we know them).
Well, there are a billion of ‘em here, we go through half a dozen or so each day on our drives in and out of Olympic Park and, get this, they also have traffic lights.
Traffic lights at roundabouts?
Kind of like wearing suspenders and a belt, isn’t it?
The beach boys got knocked out of the Olympics last night, the women were eliminated in the afternoon and I fear my journeys to Horse Guard’s Parade are now over.
That’s good in a way because the incessant music was nice and all but they play this song about every 40 seconds it seems and it’s been rattling around in my head for days.
I see the Americans edged Nigeria 156-73 in the men’s basketball here Thursday night.
Yeah, that’s the kind of delightful game that’ll “grow” the sport incredibly.
No, the Yanks didn’t run up the score, it’s just the way the game unfolded and it’s the kind one-off rout you’re going to get every now and then.
The story over at the basketball – and, yes, I’ll get there one day soon, haven’t been able to yet because other things are getting in the way – would be Lithuania, which is 1-2 and the coming showdown between Russia and Spain that could be epic.
The Lithuanians are interesting, I’m told. Valanciunas has been okay but only played seven minutes the other day against France for some unknown reason and they are just 1-2 and seem destined to barely squeak into the quarter-finals.
I wouldn’t read too much – heck, I wouldn’t read anything – into the Valanciunas numbers, which are quite underwhelming. First off, numbers don’t tell the story; secondly, it’s a different style of play and, third, the kid has skill. So, please, don’t sweat it.
As for Russia-Spain, it’s a huge game between two very good teams with an awful lot on the line.
The winner, if all things play out as expected, won’t have to face the Americans until the gold medal game; the loser would have to play the USA in the semifinals.
It goes Saturday at 11:15 a.m. our time and I think I need to be there.