I daresay I'll get into things over the next few weeks, but so far, I'm just not engaged with the Olympic Games at all. In part, its because of drug abuse. I've only just heard that Antonio Pettigrew has admitted abuse and had his medals confiscated.
But there's a good piece in the Telegraph today about the most memorable moments of past Games. It lists Coe sprinting away from Ovett to win the 1,500 metres, Greg Louganis diving off the high board in Seoul and cracking his head on a lower board, Nadia Comaneci, Steve Redgrave, Carl Lewis and Bob Beaman. Got me thinking about the moments which have embedded themselves most deeply in my memeory. I will list the two.
First there was David Hemery, winning the 400 hurdles in Mexico City in 1968. I was a 440 flat runner in those days, and so had a particular interest in this sort of distance. So I stayed up and watched it live in the middle of the night. I will always remember Hemery coming off the bend and obliterating both the field and the world record. He took 0.9 seconds off it. It was a stunning run.
My second great memory is of Ben Johnson, winning the 100 metres in Seoul in 1988. It was a most amazing run, leaving Carl Lewis in his wake, and smashing the world record with a time of 10.79. It was near unbelievable - and so it turned out. He was drugged up to the eyeballs. I do have some sympathy with him though. He has been condemned across the athletics world ever since as a drug cheat. But the three runners who came in behind Johnsone, namely Carl Lewis, Linford Christie and Dennis Mitchell all tested positive at other occasions in their careers - and are still remembered with affection.
The one thing I do feel sure of is that medals will be won by drug cheats over the next few weeks. But I'll still watch the whole extravaganza.