On the Olympics: legacy?

I deliberately kept the weeks of the Olympics and Paralympics as free from work commitments as possible. You see, as one of the official BT Olympic Storytellers, I felt it was my duty to watch as much as I could. And, as planned, I spent most of those weeks sitting in front of the television with the remote control in my hand, watching everything cycling, swimming, rowing, football, volley ball, sailing, tennis and the glorious track and field events.

Shortly after the Olympics finished, I went to support our eldest daughter (Ella Fields) as she took part in the Vitruvian Triathlon at Rutland Water – a punishing open-water swim, followed by a 50K 50 mile bike ride, followed by a half-marathon run. The weather was sunny and hot. I am proud to report that our daughter successfully completed the event. Despite finishing way back in the field, she looked cool and fit at the end – unlike most of the competitors who looked grey and ill.

If watching sports people perform could get you fit, I would be an Olympic champion myself.

Having put on a few pounds in weight (watching people being sporty makes me hungry), I have enrolled myself in a circuit-training fitness programme and, so far so good, have been exercising three times a week and dropped a couple of pounds.

Can we chalk this up as part of the legacy of the Olympics?

Following the Olympics: on Twitter

It is true that there have been some unfortunate Twitter events; for example the hurtful tweet sent directly to Tom Daley, informing him he had disappointed his dead father.

Olympic Rings at St Pancras StationWhy have I found the Olympics so utterly compelling this year?

Maybe it’s because I am an official Olympic Storyteller? Maybe it’s because the Games are happening on home turf? Maybe it’s because of the orchestrated build-up, and the relentless advertising, in the month’s preceding the event? Maybe it’s because TeamGB have so many real chances of medal success?

Whatever the reason, I feel involved in this Olympics in a way I never have before. Continue reading “Following the Olympics: on Twitter”

Ringing in the Olympics

The sky was grey, the light dim, the town sleepy. Suddenly, at 08:12 am – on the dot – it started.
The church bells began ringing.

Friday is market day in my home town of Stamford, Lincolnshire. And yesterday, when I woke up, I was preparing to mark time, waiting for the working week to end and for the London2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony to kick off in the evening.

Bells, Cultural Olympiad, London2012, Olympic StorytellerSuddenly, listening to the morning radio, I heard that a national Cultural Olympiad event was about to start.

All the Bells (work number 1197) was a brilliantly simple idea, designed and created by the artist and musician, Martin Creed.

Question: How do you create a work of art that is (a) truly national and in which (b) everybody can take part, regardless of ability or talent?

Answer: Get everyone to ring a bell, madly, for 3 minutes, all at the same time, across the nation. And it doesn’t matter what sort of bell – church bells, bicycle bells, school bells, door bells, etc. You can even download a free app that makes a bell sound when you shake your phone.

Isn’t that a brilliant idea? And why hadn’t I heard of it before? And had Stamford planned anything? Continue reading “Ringing in the Olympics”

Olympic Torch – a film

Stamford - Olympic torchbearerI put together the photographs of the Olympic Torch passing through my home town of Stamford and managed to produce a mini film, using Windows Movie Maker on my laptop.

This is the first time I have used the program and it was pretty straightforward. Nonetheless, it took me six hours of messing about to make a two-minute film. Then took me another hour to find a piece of suitable music with a Creative Commons license.

I put the finished video up on YouTube and would have sent it to the BT Olympic Storyteller site, but their site appears to be down at the moment.

Here it is: Continue reading “Olympic Torch – a film”