Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “olympics”

The Olympic Two Weeks have to go down as one of life’s great events. No exagerration


Having been in korea for the first 3 days of the olympics and hence being the only person on this planet who never saw the opening ceremony, I was looking forward to see ing the olympics in a casual and moderately interested way. The trip however to the olympic stadium, seeing the excitement , the gamesmakers smiling at people they did not know, the thousands of happy souls wandering around, changed it all. We felt part of it and not just a specatator. It was also the day that I fell in love with women’s hockey. Not just because it was Team GB playing but because the game itself was so devoid of all the nonsense that surrounds football. It was fast, no time-wasting, no cynical fouls, little dissent, when balls went out they were replaced immediately and in each 35 minutes one got just that 35 minutes . The crowd also were supporting,enjoying, with none of that alcoholic swagger and swearing. Watching on TV then became de rigeur and the Equestrian jumping event was the second huge surprise. Greenwich Park was a natural venue where the towers of the city contrasted with the victorian buildings. The light that day was also amzing with the sky as dark as night.

I have loved every minute of the olympics. The closing ceremony must go down as one of the most magical and enchanting events ever. A spectacle that had to be seen to be believed.

The joy of winning

ghosts in the goal

A swing

The Riverbank Stadium

 

Gold Medal for GB in Team Equestrian at Greenwich


Equestrian has always been a mystery to me until yesterday. We had the pleasure of seeing the qualifying round for the Team medals. The weather played its part. All got soaked and I mean soaked by some of the heaviest rain that I have been out in for a while. But spirits were not dampened. Great to see up close the horses and riders. Rather than wax lyrical about how magical the afternoon was I will show you in picture form the story of the day. but again LOCOG deserve so much praise for excellent organisation, the searches were carried out with hunour by naval folks. I may have been converted to an equestrian lover.For years I have been under the delusion that only football can generate an atmosphere that is electric but this is frankly wrong. To see the people of varying ages , 2 years to 90 years would be my guess, shouting and screaming for a horse, then a deadening hush when it goes wrong, was incredible. We even got a trip back on the DLR and changing trains at Canada Water was also simply incredible.

Deckchairs and a big screen in Greenwich Park

Team GB 5 Korea 3 . Womens hockey was great.


Absolutely fantastic day at olympic Park today. Let no-one criticise LOCOG, they have done a fantastic job. The arrangements were superb and travel was easy. Saw two womens hockey games of which Team GB v Korea was a classic. What looked like an easy 3-1 win then turned into 3-3 and potentially even worse before two late goals won it 5-3. i was so impressed with the way they played with passion, strnegth,skill and great organisation. Their coach should be proud. the atmosphere was electric. The place was packed. This was the perfect advert for womens hockey as proved by the 11-year old who informed us that she wants to play hockey now at school. The only gripe was the fencing behind the goals which made sensible photography difficult but nevertheless some halfway decent shots.

Womens hockey also has it right. no stoppages hardly, no injury team, no time wasting, a ball is returned seconds after the other has gone out, no faking injury, no cynical fouls ( well not many). It was just a great sport to watch.

A Final View on South Korea from Sherlock Holmes


There is no doubt that I would like to come back here. Based only on two days I would say that this is one of the most polite and pleasant nations I have visited. I saw no aggression nor irritation with two exceptions. A Korean man trying to check in for his flight before the counter was open ( the clue for him was a huge queue and the massive sign saying opening at 14.50) and a Korean man paying his executive level room bill with wads of cash. No smile, no communication. Deadpan face. No thanks either and no bowing. Everyone else in Korea bows to everyone else on every occasion. Let me give you an example. When the check-in desks did open at 14.47 the whole team of 7 check-in staff, stood up, said something together to the waiting travellers ( rather like one might address a church congregation ), bowed to us all, and then rapidly motioned for us to come forward. I will not criticise British Airways for not doing this, but maybe a smile instead of a bow? And not one of those sour mouthed ones either.

The other learning in South korea is that in two days with mostly affluent doctors and other souls, I saw only two overweight people ( out of hundreds if not thousands). One of these was a morbidly obese Korean man in the hotel ( BMI>30, maybe >35), and the other a slightly overweight young woman (BMI maybe 27-28). Why? Easy. They eat less. How do I surmise this? Am I Sherlock Holmes? Well, maybe….

The portions served at mealtimes are much smaller than western sized portions. The meal last night in a grand hotel ( Lotte Busan, if you want to look it up. It has a casino and theatre etc, to give context) was 4 courses. Four small courses. Fish as a starter with bread roll about half the size of UK bread rolls a la Co-Operative. Third of a bowl of asparagus soup. Small steak with side salad, other vegetables and small amount of potatoes. Dessert a small slice of a sort of light cheesecake. No alcohol served at all, and in fact only water and coffee. This was a meal served to a group of top physicians in Korea attending an important annual congress. My second observation was actually a secondary one. I was trying to work out why the airports function better and quicker than UK. The answer is essentially no shops ( certainly no unnecessary ones) and few restaurants. So the whole area is not clogged up by people rampaging for their ninth meal of the morning. Compare and contrast with any USA airport where it seems de rigeur to eat a massive meal even though one is going on a 1 hour flight. So, simple deductions,Watson. Eat less and do not get overweight.

I would definitely return here both in a professional capacity and for a holiday. And in fact I am quite taken with South Korea and shall be cheering them on in the olympics!

Busan from the 33rd floor

Sports Days in Schools in United Kingdom. A great tradition


The weather held out today and a great sports day took place. All the children had races and took part, some won and some lost, but fun was had. Parents came along, more mothers than fathers, and cheered their children on. Teachers smiled, and even raced against each other, tumbling over as the finish line came into sight. A nice day. A great tradition.

Brighton Half Marathon Photos and Comment


Athletics and running generally are not things that run in our family. Indeed one might argue that we run away from such things. Hence some sort of surprise when eldest daughter announced that she was entering the Brighton half-marathon. We travelled down last night not really knowing what to expect. Stayed in the Holiday inn , which is not be recommended for reasons that are too multiple to mention, other than that the room was cold, with a kind of fashion that would not be out of place in a a medieval castle, and the bathroom was miniscule and looked like it retained all the charm of the 1950,s and much of the grime too.

Anyway, up bright and early. Stood by the beach along the promenade for 2 hours and it was an amazing experience. Very proud of said daughter who finished well within her time anticipated and was running just in front of Katie Price. Many of the runners just on with it but a certain amount of cabaret was there. Runners with strange expressions, reading maps as they ran along, but the most curious events came from folks who wanted to cross over sides. Now, let me paint the picture. The road was closed to stop cars for around 3 hours, thousands of runners and yet folks were crossing over the running “track”. Bizarre. This included multiple parents with buggys and a wheelchair. But to beat all this lot was a woman who pressed the pelican crossing button, not once but twice! What did she think was going to happen? 10,000 runners would career into each other to stop so that she might cross?

In terms of the runners, there were so many that it was difficult to see in detail in real time but on browsing through the photos, things that caught my eye, other than a range of strange expressions, were those runners wearing gloves, with sunglasses on head, in a kilt, a man running parallel to the running lane, running with eyes closed ,

We loved the event and will return next year for more cabaret. The only surprising thing was that there not more collectors for charity out with buckets, surely this is the optimal time and event to do it?

enjoy some of the photos below

Sarah running for a brave charity

A finishers medal

Map reading

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