The quiet before the storm


The Olympics have begun, but the sailing hasn't, Lisa Walker writes from Sydney
The hardest thing about being at the Olympic Games as a spectator and the wife of a competitor (Ian Walker, British Star representative), is deciding which of the many other events to watch, before the one you’re really interested in starts. This doesn’t pose a problem if your main event begins on the opening day of the Games, but for some of the sailors, the first day of competition is as much as a week away - truly the phony war. One influential - not to say the deciding - factor, is the events for which you actually have tickets. The free viewing opportunities are few and far between, and you definitely need to stake your claim early for good spectating positions. This morning was the very first Olympic outing for the triathlon - one of those sports that you might have assumed was already in the Olympic Games. It was a great start to what I think will be a long Olympic future. The Aussies love the Triathlon - this is the country of the Ironman competitions - and the streets around the Opera House, the Botanical Gardens and the lower CBD (Central Business District) were packed with locals and visitors waving flags and banners, waiting to cheer these athletes (in the truest sense of the word) around the course. Ian and Mark (Walker and Covell) were having a day off after the exertions of last night’s opening ceremony, so we grabbed a great spot near the Botanical Gardens to cheer on our fellow Brits, namely Sian Brice, Stephanie Forrester and Michelle Dillon. As the women emerged after the swim, now on their bikes, we were taken aback by just how fit they looked. In Ian's words, 'You always knew they were, just to compete in such a barking mad sport',

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