John called round yesterday to scan some photos for his new blogging adventure, and he brought with him a rather exciting book. This massive tome contains no less than a listing of the top eight finishers in every summer Olympic event since 1896, along with their times or scores, and over fifteen hundred stories and descriptions of pivotal moments from Olympic history, not to mention the official Olympic rules for each event. I've a feeling it might be worth me shelling out the £16.99 it would take to get myself a copy.
The book has also inspired a rather amusing notion - John reckons (and I agree) that we should be able to find an Olympic (or world) record from the past that we can beat in there. At first glance, the 1896 Olympic long jump record of 6.35 metres looks realistic – John reckons he was jumping over 4 metres when he was a nipper at school sports days – but I will be studying the book at great length to see if there’s anything better.
I expect the 1896 (72 years pre-Fosbry) high jump record of 1.81 metres might be in range too, especially as I am (according to some) a “big lanky streak” - but then, I also remember how bad I was at the "jumping-backwards-into-the-swimming-pool" game the last time I tried it, so maybe not.
This coming week will also see the resumption of actual events partaken of – on Saturday, I’m going clay pigeon shooting with John’s housemate, John (yes, it does get confusing). We have entered the novice section of a church charity shoot down near Swindon. It only cost a tenner to enter so I fancy it might provide more of a chance to meet some people who can help in the future rather than a chance to actually complete one or more of the shooting events.
Either way, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve tried it once and was told that I was good at it; but then the man who was telling me was the owner of the range and was clearly keen to get some repeat business, so I’ll take that assessment of my talents with a large pinch of salt.
In other news, many thanks to Michael Smith for becoming the first person I don’t actually know to request an Ultimate Olympian Live Wrong wrist band in exchange for making a donation to Sobell House. It’s in the post, Michael – I trust that your cheque, which will make a big difference, is too. Anyone else who wants one: just drop me a mail at email@example.com, tell me where you live and how much you want to donate and you shall have one before you can say “Oh look, here comes the postman!”
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Posted by John McClure at 10:52 pm