With every passing hour the Olympic venues in London are getting more crowded as athletes from all over the world are converging on the capital for the Games. Every time team a checked in at the Athletes Village or go for training and attend a media conference they create some stories. The Olympic News Service compiled some of them which would tell about the fun and emotion of athletes.
Aussie feels the heat
Australian archer Elisa Barnard won’t be treating Britain’s fickle summer with such contempt again. Media personnel had to come to her aid after she turned up on a hot, sunny day at Lord’s Cricket Ground without adequate sun protection. ‘I didn’t know you could get sunburned in England,’ the bemused 19-year-old said. ‘Everyone here always looks so pasty.’ She was delighted to slap on some factor 15 provided by the Olympic News Service team.
A tall story
Algerian rower Amina Rouba was telling some tall stories on Tuesday. At a far from diminutive 1.73m (5ft 8in) and tippping the scales at 59kg, she recounted being at the world championships in Bled, Slovenia, last year and preparing for her race in front of a mirror. Suddenly, behind her appeared the daunting figure of sculling legend Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus, all 1.85m (6ft 1in) and a hefty 80kg. As most would, Rouba offered to get out of the way, but good sport Karsten would have nothing of it. With her height she was able to finish her own sartorial preparations in the background with a minimum of fuss. The two could find themselves not-quite-eye-balling each other again when racing starts at Eton Dorney on Saturday, July 28.
Thou shall not pass
USA tennis twins Bob and Mike Bryan were dealt a doubles blow on Tuesday before hitting a ball in anger at London 2012. Team USA’s tennis press conference went ahead without them as their accreditation for the Main Press Centre had not been validated in time. Team-mate Andy Roddick said: ‘The fact people are being thorough is a good thing, even if it’s not convenient at the moment. You would rather have it that way.’
Jas the right name
Not only do Drew Ginn of Australia and Alex Gregory of Britain share a passion for rowing in the men’s fours, but they also have a similar taste in children’s names. Both men have sons called Jasper.
It may have started in tears but let’s hope it doesn’t end the same way for Great Britain’s men’s and women’s handball teams. The excitement of moving into the Olympic Village was all too much for many of them. Ciaran Williams, playmaker for the men’s side, revealed: ‘When I arrived and went up to our room for the first time, I carried my room-mate (Daniell McMillan) over the threshold. There was so much excitement.’ But it was when the players saw messages of support from friends and family in rooms that the tears really flowed. For Danish-born Jesper Holmris, the Great Britain women’s coach, it was surreal, and a little funny, to arrive in the accommodation and see such emotion being openly displayed. ‘I went into the house and everyone was crying,’ he said. ‘It was really emotional.’
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