Monday, August 20, 2012

Nine Days To Their Biggest Challenge

I’d never heard of the Paralympics until 1991.

Three years earlier, in Seoul, our able-bodied athletes won just five gold medals. In that same month our disabled athletes broke 18 world records, and brought home 182 medals, including 64 golds.

While Steve Redgrave, Linford Christie, Adrian Moorhouse, Colin Whitbread and Fatima Whitbread became household names, the public scarcely noticed the achievements of their disabled colleagues. Neither did I.

Then in 1991, while I was producing Challenge Anneka for the BBC, we received a call from the British Paralympic Association asking for help.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Bit Of A Week

It’s been a bit of a week. Starting with the bull incident.

With expectations of a few blissful days in rural Northumberland, last Saturday the first of several waves of friends arrived from London. We’d promised them gentle strolls through our fields, barbecues with fresh salad straight from the garden, and long snoozes on comfy sofas. The bull had other ideas.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Crying Games

“Don’t forget to call me in for the bit where they cry at the national anthem,” I called out from the kitchen where I’d been constructing a mountain of spaghetti bolognese for ten hungry mouths.

Their appetites are insatiable, not just for the food, but also for large doses of the Olympics drug that for days has cemented the family onto the giant L-shaped couch in the TV room. Even the cook mustn’t miss the moment where we all blub along with the athletes during the medals ceremony.