Archive for the ‘sport’ Category
Mum would have been thrilled. Surely Andy Murray is to take his second Wimbledon title today. In truth, her real, crush was on Tim Henman but Wimbledon fortnight was the highlight of her year when she even took precedence over my father with the TV remote control. For those two weeks she was glued to the telly from late morning until bad light stopped play.
Every year Mum applied for tickets in the wheelchair seats and most years she was successful. I had the privilege to take her last year to her last Wimbledon. We saw Roger Federer amongst other, more lowly players.
Mum would also have been made immensely proud and happy by the Wales football team’s success in the Euros. The scenes in Cardiff when our heroes rode an open top bus through the city would have delighted her. She was strange sports fan, my mother. Not what you would have expected from this petite but fiercely intelligent woman who built her life around her husband and children. It came from her father, Jack Evans, who was a physiotherapist and perhaps the first ever sports medicine specialist in Wales. My father, three brothers, sister and I were all keen participants in sport when we were younger and Mum put in the hours taking us to games and practice sessions. My very last memory of Mum and sport was when I returned to her in the early hours of the morning from Twickenham after Wales beat England in last year’s Rugby World Cup. Her joy was unconfined. It was glorious.
So it will mean great a deal to me if Andy Murray lifts the trophy today. As far as I’m concerned, he’ll be doing it for my Mum.
It was one of the greatest days of my life. Since the birth of my sons, never have I been more consumed by joy and delight. Sadly, most can only look on a Welshman’s appreciation of rugby from outside. I am one of the fortunate few. Since my earliest days I have known that rugby is like a religion for us – no, even more important than that, it is life – no, perhaps even more important than that.
And it is true, particularly when it comes to playing England, for in that final moment when we drove their maul into touch, I could have died happy. Nothing could complete me more. And we did it in such heroic, brave, glorious style!
After so many years, this time, for the first time, my mother had taught me how to sing the anthem in Welsh. I sang my heart out and the tears were streaming down my face even before kickoff. That would have almost been enough for me. I hardly dared dream what wonders would follow.
As our momentum grew in the last quarter, even though we were still behind, I began to get this strange feeling that it might be possible. A crossfield kick, a magnificent try, straight in front of me. I could not have been more perfectly placed, as if it were staged just for me. We were level and that feeling started to grow. When our pressure brought the inevitable penalty it was a long, long way but I knew Dan Biggar would not let us down – and we were in the lead! Just moments more and it was done. The unbelievable was real. We had taken England down at home, in Twickenham, as underdogs, in the most compelling, glorious, magnificent, absolute victory!
My thanks go to my son, Evan, whose enormous generosity took me and a large group of friends to this very special occasion. I doubt this day will be bettered in the rest of my life.
Cannabis Saves Lives And Cannabis Prohibition Ruins Lives Every Day. All the Media Can Worry About Is Djokovic’s Nose.
The BBC, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, countless international publications, blogs and websites have published this ridiculous story.
Apparently, Novak Djokovic felt “dizzy” because he could smell cannabis during his Rogers Cup semi-final win over Jérémy Chardy in Montreal. Now let’s be clear, the smell of cannabis comes from terpenes, not from cannabinoids. It cannot get you high or dizzy.
I’m pleased that Novak recognises the delightful smell of weed. More and more sportspeople are using it as an aid to recovery. NFL and rugby players are advised to use it to protect against the dangers of concussion or brain injury. Stimulating the endocannabinoid system helps to promote healing and growth. Not long before cannabis is ruled out of sport as a performance enhancer, not just because of blind prejudice against a safer recreational drug.
But it is sickening that so much coverage is given to this when across the world there are so many more important stories about the almost miraculous, life saving, therapeutic effects of cannabis. Similarly, there are important but tragic stories of people being incarcerated for growing the plant or treating their illness with it. There are disgusting stories of corruption in governments, parliaments and bureaucracies where lies and misinformation about cannabis are promoted, mainly to protect vested interests in the alcohol and law enforcement industries.
All the media is interested in is this sort of trivial nonsense, unless of course it’s some mythological scare story about mental illness or deranged axe murderers. A free press is a valuable and essential part of our pretence at democracy. We also need freedom from the lies, misinformation and corrupt agendas of press barons and editors.
That’s the word that sums up the Olympics for me. It’s what we heard the athletes saying again and again. It’s what their performances amounted to. It was the enthusiasm and support of the crowd. It’s what was achieved in grand style by those who organised and ran this extraordinary celebration of human endeavour.
One of my most vivid memories will be of switching on the television for the news each morning at 7.00am, then finding the tears streaming down my face even before I’d properly woken up. As each of the previous day’s triumphs were relived so the heroes were paraded on the breakfast TV sofa. Also, as I’ve travelled to the country on several occasions I was so, so proud for Jamaica. I can just imagine how their sprinters’ achievements were celebrated at home. I am in huge admiration of the respect that Usain Bolt and Johann Blake showed for other countries’ national anthems, even stopping TV interviews when the flags were raised. Both of them also sang their own anthem with unashamed pride, something I wish more of our athletes had managed.
Britain is truly great. The games and our achievements at them prove that. We exceed every reasonable expectation that we could have of ourselves. That is why we have such a proud history, why we are the leaders that we continue to be and why we hold a place in the world out of all proportion to our size and resources.
That our athletes and those who train and organise them can achieve so much sheds a very harsh light on those that now run our government and economy. Today we are let down by leaders who are pygmies compared to the giants that have made Britain great.
The British people can achieve the unbelievable. All we need are the leaders to show us the way. If we replaced the 29 members of the cabinet with our 29 gold medal winners I think we might do far better.
After the overpaid, uncouth and unpleasant men of the Premier League have destroyed my interest in football, it is a delight to see our girls going great guns at the Olympics.
They represent exactly what the venal and self-obsessed men are missing. They express their talent with joy and sincerity and it is wonderful entertainment.