Posts Tagged London 2012 Olympic Games

Just when you thought it was all over…

… the Olympians are back!

Mo Farah double vainqueur du 5000-10000m à Lon...

I thought that all those brilliant Olympic medal winners would be taking a well-earned rest. Perhaps sunning themselves somewhere or at least putting their feet up and indulging in a takeaway pizza and a large piece of chocolate fudge cake. But it appears there is no rest for the elite and a handful of our heroes were back in competition on Sunday at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium as part of the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix. And I was there to see them!

Long jump gold medallist, Greg Rutherford, high jump bronze medallist, Robbie Grabarz and 400m silver medallist, Christine Ohuruogu were all competing, along with several other London 2012 medallists from other countries. But the highlight was watching Mo Farah win the 2 mile event with a fantastic sprint finish! The stadium went wild.

So these high-achievers don’t sit back and rest on their laurels after a success and they don’t give up when they fail either. Do you?

When an editor accepts a story or you get placed in a competition – what do you do? Spend days telling everyone about it or just get back to your desk and write something else?

When the rejections come in do you throw in the towel and decide to write nothing more that week? Or do you get back to your desk and write something else?

As writers we have to be like athletes – constantly training the parts of our body that make us produce of our best. So whatever life throws at you, good or bad, get back to your desk and write something! The more you use that writing muscle the better it will become.

Lecture over. I’ll now attempt to take a piece of my own advice … and go do some writing!

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The Olympics (for the last time) & Win Afternoon Tea with Clare Balding at the Ritz

How was the Olympics for you?

I thought it was terrific – that wonderful opening ceremony, the wall to wall coverage by the BBC and the buckets of gold medals for Team GB. Last weekend I was lucky enough to get down to London to experience things for real. We stood outside Buckingham Palace in the pouring rain to watch the women’s Marathon and the following day saw Synchronised Swimming Duets at the Aquatic Centre in Olympic Park.

Inside the Aquatic Centre, London 2012

Inside the Aquatic Centre

Both places exuded a real ‘feel good’ atmosphere. Everyone was friendly, including fellow spectators, volunteers, police, London transport staff etc. It’s a shame that we can’t bottle this ‘proud to be British’ feeling so that we can take another swig when the doom and gloom of the double-dip recession hits home again.

Thank you, LOCOG for an amazing 2 weeks (and I don’t usually follow any sort of sport).

Clare Balding has played a major part in bringing these Games into our living rooms and, as well as being a sports commentator, she is also a writer. Her book, My Animals and Other Family, will be published on September 13th 2012. The book includes anecdotes from Clare’s childhood about her pets and she has organised a competition to celebrate its launch.

She wants to see your pictures, stories and poems about the pets that have touched you. The winners receive copies of My Animals and Other Family, and one winner will join Clare for tea at The Ritz.

To enter, go to Alternatively, you can email entries to

Closing date is September 13th 2012 and entry is free. Full terms and conditions are here.

So if you’ve got a poem tucked away about your beloved dog, cat or tarantula, why not send it in?



All the Bells – Work No. 1197

At 8:12 am today I took part in ‘All the Bells’ to ring in the first day of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The event was masterminded by Martin Creed and the aim was to ring all the bells in the country as quickly and loudly as possible for 3 minutes. It was timed to be exactly 12 hours before the opening ceremony of the Games, which starts at 20:12 this evening.

At St. Michael’s Church, Boldmere in Sutton Coldfield we chimed the heaviest 6 of our 8 church bells.  An official Olympic volunteer at the football in Coventry, Debbie, came along in her (very smart) uniform to support us and took the picture below (I’m the one in the middle with the black T-shirt).

All the Bells - Bellringing for London 2012 Olympics, St. Michael's Boldmere

All this Olympic mania made me wonder what happened to the 100 chosen to be ‘Olympic Storytellers’ after the invitation for us all to apply last year. I wasn’t successful and have heard nothing about it since. But a quick trawl of the web has thrown up the Olympic Story Tellers’ Website. Here each of selected writers has published their news and views of the Olympics. There are poems, photographs and blog posts – take a look if you get a minute.

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Olympic Storytellers Wanted

Cropped transparent version of Image:Olympic f...

Image via Wikipedia

BT is searching for people to become the storytellers of the London 2012 Olympic Games. During the 12 months leading up to the Games those chosen will capture and record what London 2012 means to them and the wider British public. Applicants may have a direct connection with the Games or simply be an enthusiastic observer.  

They are looking for bloggers, social networkers, creative writers, poets, film-makers, photographers, musicians, journalists, artists etc etc – in fact anyone with a creative leaning and an interest in recording the build-up to and the events of both the Olympic Games and the Paralympics. Your creative output might focus on a personal experience or something in your locality or the national build-up.

I should say at this point that there is no mention of any payment. However, the announcement does say that there will be:

 “the chance for our storytellers to experience the excitement that’s already building around London 2012.  You’ll be able to attend sporting and cultural events, and meet some of the people who are directly involved, from athletes to celebrities. In addition, BT will be aiming to showcase some of your work online and even in the media.”

I don’t know exactly what this means but it sounds to me like a great way of getting involved in a once in a lifetime event and I’ve already got my application in.

Apply on-line here. There is a very simple form to complete but you do have to state in 100 words why you would like to be considered as a storyteller. Those chosen will be informed by the 26th July 2011.