Four years ago, London hosted the Olympics and I was a right humbug about the whole thing. Why? Because all I could see was the amount of money it would cost and how, as a country, we could do with spending that money elsewhere. I also felt for those Londoners whose daily life was being negatively impacted by first the building process and finally by the crowds attending first the Paralympics and then the Olympics themselves. Oh I was such a grouch, I complained about the ticket application process, the cost, you name it, I complained ...
Then it was here and I began to feel I'd got it all wrong. A friend, who'd been ignoring it, suggested we should try to get last minute tickets and go. So we did. We got tickets for the Paralympics and it was a hugely memorable day - oh am I glad I went! One thing that will stay forever in my mind is how the male basketball paralympians were so loaded with testosterone, any ordinary male with two legs wouldn't have stood a chance.
And then it was the turn of Rio - how fantastic, how glamorous, what a fabulous country to visit! Except for the poverty, the favela clearance, the criminal gangs, the Zika virus and finally, the utterly ghastly condition of the water. Whilst the rest of the country were at home watching the opening ceremony live on TV, I was at the pub venting about life and it's overall shittyness (it really is, this time I'm not being a grouch). And then I heard that Giselle Bundchen had done the walk, the Girl from Ipanema walk ... how cool must that have been and I missed it.
All these wonderfully talented sportsmen and women and all I've seen so far was a bit of the cycling road race. And I only watched that because my new son-in-law is a huge fan and asked, even so charmingly. The silly thing is that I got caught up in it really quickly. The individual stories, the near misses, the pain of loss, the joy of winning. I shall try harder to catch some more.
But, in the meantime, my writing partner has set me a writing challenge on the Pacemaker Summer Olympics. The challenge is to write a minimum of 400 words every day whilst the Olympics is on. I know that writing every day is not an option for me, weekends being a sacrosanct time for the bloke. But I reckon I can match the overall word count over the three weeks, so I've accepted the challenge - although modified it somewhat. I'm off to a slow-ish start and need to get typing. The graph below will update my progress.