London 2012: Olympic moments

It is hard to believe that London 2012 has already had two full days of Olympic competition and the special memories are already being made. Here are my personal favourites so far: Archery The Italian men’s team recorded a dramatic … Continue reading

Olympic Glory: Abebe Bikila

Friday 27th July 2012. A date to remember. It has been a fifty-four year wait for London and now the Olympic opening ceremony is only hours away; the world waits in anticipation for the greatest sporting spectacle of all. If … Continue reading

The men’s 100m at London 2012

Usain Bolt’s failure to win both the 100m and 200m finals at the Jamaican Olympic trials last week has become a major talking point in world athletics. The hero of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was completely outclassed by his Jamaican teammate … Continue reading

LIVE EVENT: Hockey Final at the Olympic Park

Last Sunday, I visited the Riverbank Arena at the Olympic Park to watch the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament. Even though the cold temperatures made the test event feel more a part of the Winter Olympics, there were still two men’s hockey matches to look … Continue reading

Countdown to London 2012: Kobe Bryant

As I’m based in the UK, I can safely say that there is a great buzz around as we prepare for London 2012. Organisers are even providing tourists with the Olympic Legends Map, if they weren’t already confused when walking about London.

The Olympic Legends Map

All of the names on the map are rightly placed as legends of the game, but I’m excited about the man sitting on the basketball and tennis line (the black line) named Kobe Bryant.

He may have experienced some troubles in his private life recently, but this man is a living legend of the game. London 2012 will be only his second involvement with the USA team in an Olympic competition. His impact in Beijing 2008 was unquestionable as he helped Team USA win their Gold medal with a 15 point average.

Kobe Bryant celebrates with his teammates after winning Gold in Beijing 2008.

Some in the NBA are beginning to question Kobe Bryant, as he is no longer one of the young talents in the game. Yet, he is still the most recognisable face of the LA Lakers and the amount that he has acheived in his 15 years as a professional shows that the talent of legends lasts forever.

See Kobe Bryant’s highlights from the Beijing 2008 final here:

Countdown to London 2012: Should there be a Team GB football team?

Since the announcement that Team GB would field a team for London 2012 there has been much debate about the selection process, especially regarding whether non-English players will participate. The resistance of Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish representatives is understandable; their independant status within FIFA could be threatened as a result. However, I still think that there are many positives to be taken from Team GB’s involvement and these will outweigh the negatives. So, I’ve put together my thoughts on why football and Team GB deserve their shot at Olympic Glory.

The two Team GB football coaches: Hope Powell and Stuart Pearce

Football is the most watched sport in the UK and so there should be a team to represent that fact. London 2012 will show Great Britain as a true sporting nation and football is such a major part of this. This is why Team GB is right to acknowlegde Britain’s love for the game and put a team forward.

The Olympic event will also highlight the popularity of  Women’s football in the UK. In terms of participation, Women’s football is one of the fastest growing sports in Britain and this should be celebrated. Since the first inclusion of the event at the Olympics in 1996 there has never been a women’s team chosen to represent Great Britain. What a fantastic opportunity to show the talent of the Team GB women to the world.

Team GB stand together in the Beijing opening ceremony

The men’s tournament will also, as Stuart Pearce has rightly pointed out, provide invaluable experience for the youngsters who will be playing with the constant support of a home crowd. In fact, without the overbearing pressure from the media that so often surrounds our Home Nations in the big tournaments, Team GB could do well in this competition.

On that note, I have to discuss the opinion of certain critics who say that the Olympic football tournament should not be included at all. Their main reason is that the World Cup and European Championships represent the pinnacle of the international game and that the Olympic football event does not. I think that this comment can only stem from a football commentary as it disregards the spirit of the Olympic games.  The Olympics is the pinnacle of the sporting world; the inclusion of the many sports that take part are what makes it so special.  The football tournament may not be on the front pages daily but this does not make it less worthy as an Olympic event. Even so, if Team GB play well the British public will support them and they might even win Team GB a medal!