Sunday, 31 August 2008

A few pics to show what you missed

It's no surprise that I took hundreds of photographs and some video footage during our stay in Beijing.  After all it was my only chance to see most of the things and be part of an Olympic Games.  I have loaded a few of the better ones here to give a taste of what you missed, or perhaps you didn't as I saw many familiar faces in the stadium during the matches?

Thanks to you all for logging in to my ramblings, and you never know, I may get an opportunity to do all of this again in another tournament?

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

This earth thing is a bit bumpy

Back in the land of work and worries, but it's great to be here.  Many thanks once again to all that have emailed me or left comments on this blog, it's been great to hear from you.  In less than 24 hours the IOC restraints on publishing my pictures ends, and so I will try to put together a few images from the entire Olympic experience for you all to see.  It will of course be a tiny number of pics in comparison to the vast quantity that I've taken, but hopefully it will be worthwhile?

The Closing Ceremony was excellent, with the Jimmy Page section being very memorable.  The sound in the stadium was fabulous (which I understand didn't come over particularly well on the TV) and sent a tingle down the neck when his first riff started.  Once again the Chinese blew us away with stunning acts, costumes and antics - really throwing the gauntlet down for every sporting ceremony of the future.  Surely the Opening Ceremony was the greatest show that has ever been put on in modern times?

So watch this space for the pictures, which will probably spell the end of this blog's activity.  It has been fun!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

How was it for you?

I understand that the BBC managed to get their act together and actually show the hockey live for a change. What would you hope for in an Olympic medal hockey match? What a dream game to be part of. My first decision, or lack of, was setting the bar rather high as far as the 'lifted ball' is concerned, but I was comfortable with that. If you blinked you missed a goal for the first ten minutes! Hopefully I didn't blink too much?

I'm glad to say that Hong Lae redeemed himself from the other day and took some pictures of me during the match. So, I now have a bit more evidence that I can do a dreadful Max Boyce impression and say that " I was there" in an Olympic Games. Off to bed now, after only a few beers as physically, mentally, and emotionally wiped out now. Perhaps the buzz will come tomorrow? And hopefully not during the closing ceremony?

Friday, 22 August 2008

Another day in paradise?

Finals Day has arrived bright and sunny, and I managed to sleep like a log as usual. I would just like to say thanks to all of you that have taken the trouble to send me messages of support, particularly over my appointment to the Bronze medal match. You really do make a difference!

I'm going to head over to the ground this morning to watch the GB guys playing, and to hopefully meet up with Dave Bunyan for a while. A photo opportunity for the school magazine, and to show how two Cliftonville and Canterbury ex-players have progressed. Otherwise, I'm trying to treat today just like any other, and the match just as another match. We will see if I succeed. Enjoy the match, and I look forward to seeing you all soon. But not till after a closing ceremony and maybe a glass or two of wine?

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Drum roll

A leisurely morning spent editing and downloading pictures to facebook of the matches from yesterday, then I even managed some breakfast for a change. We have just had a brief meeting of the male umpires and UM's, and of course the appointments for the Finals were given out. Hong Lae even managed to create a drum roll on the conference room table, as though we weren't nervous enough. China v South Africa (11v12) is Rob Ten Cate and Satinder Kumar. GB v Korea (5v6) is Murray Grime and Roel van Eart. Netherlands v Australia (Bronze Match) is Christain Blasch and ME!!!!!! Germany v Spain (Final) is Henrick Ehlers and Dave Gentles.

I must admit to being a bit shocked and emotional, as I always hoped for the best match possible but didn't expect to really get it. So, one more match to keep it all together and come away from the Olympics with far more than I could have dreamed of. You never know, I may even get some pictures taken of me in action for a change? For all of you at home, I hope that the BBC get the match broadcast for a change so that you can shout at the TV. Watch this space for the build up to the final day.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Il fait raining *&^%$£ hard

Woke up this morning to very dark skys and more than a little dampness. Hopefully the pics give an idea of just how hard it has rained? Very glad to not be needed for action this morning, and felt more than a little sorry for those that did have to stand out in it. Match one was Xavi Adell's last International, which is obviously an emotional event for everyone. I may be able to show some pics of that once the IOC block has expired in a few days.

So, now a couple of hours sleep before going back to the ground for my video duties. It can rain as hard as it likes!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

All the fun of the fair

You may have heard about the method that the Chinese have put in place as an alternative method of coming back down from the Great Wall? Hopefully the video will work, and give you a flavour of what it is like?