Tuesday, 28 August 2012

On the Mic - Surrey Life - August 2012

Do you want to, er, read a preview of the Olympics? Sure you do. September's edition of Surrey Life magazine is in shops now. Here's August's column.

The countdown has finished. The torch has been and gone. The Olympics are here. Now. On our roads and in our faces. Faster, higher, longer, wetter... medal-ier. Woo. I’m in the zone. I’m stoked. I’m hyped. I’m…

There’s no doubt London 2012 has been a huge story for BBC Surrey from the moment it was announced that Surrey would host the Olympic cycle road races. We’ve covered every single aspect of the preparation and organisation, and I’ve enjoyed every second.

It’s just… I haven’t got excited yet. 

Put it down to being a comprehensively-mortgaged father of three young children. I don’t have the time to get energised about anything until it’s properly begun. Not when I’m so busy dealing with thrill-a-minute stuff like car insurance, the leaky roof or my children’s whereabouts (actually… hold on a moment...)

It’s okay, they’re fine. It wasn’t always like this. Back in the olden days, events like the FA Cup Final brought a frenzy of anticipation. The three hour build-up, the goal montages, the interviews, the excruciating suit-measuring sequence. By the team Abide With Me came round I would convinced I was about to witness one of the greatest occasions humanity could muster.

No longer. Even the 15 minute build-up to a Champions League match on ITV doesn’t get a look-in. All I can manage for any evening televised sporting event is a vague hope I might have finished putting the kids to bed, tidied up and dealt with dinner before most of it is over. If anything is scheduled during the day when our darling charges are awake, forget it.

But this is the Olympics. The Greatest Show on Earth. Mostly happening 25 miles from where I live. On two particular days, thanks to the road race, happening at the very end of my street.

Excited or not, it’s time to get involved. Partly because I have a professional and personal interest in being able to say I Was There, and partly because I don’t want my children to turn around in ten years time and say:

“We had the Olympics on our doorstep for the only time in our lives and you didn't take us?!”

Fair point. So the tickets to Stratford 2012 have been bought and we are now approaching an exhausting, but hopefully memorable day. If I had any doubt the hassle would be worthwhile, it evaporated when my eldest daughter Amy returned from school, glowing. Her friend’s Dad had the privilege of being an Olympic torch bearer and he’d brought his torch in for the children to look at. 

“I couldn’t believe I actually held it in my hands”, said Amy, “it was so special.”

If you’re going to any of the Olympic venues this August or will be glued to the sofa, red-buttoning your way to glory in the ultimate orgy of sporting prowess, good luck. 

If you want to keep track of how Surrey’s representatives in Team GB are doing, make sure you tune in to BBC Surrey throughout the Games. We’ll turn you into instant experts on a series of obscure Olympic sports and tell you if there might be a new Olympic champion in our midst.

And whilst you listen, you might just hear a hint of excitement in my voice.


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