8.38am, Friday 20th July, back at Depot Eatery, 86 Federal St, Auckland, New Zealand
OK folks, I can’t leave it any longer. I have to get into the London 2012 frame of mind. It’s Olympics time. Right this moment, it’s 7 days 23 hours and 22 minutes until the Opening Ceremony kicks off.
So in the spirit of international goodwill and sporting excellence, I’m going to introduce you to the specific athletes that I think show great merit, and we’re going to follow their fortunes on the blog.
Firstly, we cannot ignore finely honed water slicing machines – otherwise known as men in Speedos!! Australia has a fine tradition in Olympic swimming, so we are going to follow the 4 x 100m men’s freestyle relay team. Here they are on the back of The Advertiser (Adelaide) newspaper – sorry about the quality of the photo, I was in a bit of a hurry.
The four boys are – left to right – Eamon Sullivan, James Roberts, James Magnussen, and Matt Targett.
Then we’re going to solidly support our small squad of boxers. I think there’s some really special stories here, and don’t be surprised if you see something unexpected happen from this section of the Green and Gold team. Just watch out for these three boys and see what you think:
Cameron ‘The Hammer’ Hammond – a young lad from Moree – way way out north west in New South Wales. He’s boxing in the Welterweight division, and has made it all the way to one of the biggest boxing rings in the world…….from the bush. That’s already a massive win in my book!
Then there’s the youngest boxer on the squad – 17 year old Jai Opetaia from Watanobbi on the New South Wales Central Coast – competing in the heavyweight division. Make sure you check this kid out, as he’s already been a sparring partner for both Danny Green and Anthony Mundine during their preparations for title fights. When asked to comment about how quick he was for his size, this is what Jai had to say “a lot of people are surprised that I’m that weight and I move the way I do. Every boxer knows……it’s to hit and not get hit!” Definitely one lad to watch.
Finally, at 27, there’s the oldest bloke on the team – Luke Jackson from Hobart in Tasmania. This story is all about ‘never say die’. Luke missed out on selection for the 2008 Beijing Games, so he decided that come he’ll or high water, he was going to do everything humanly possible to make the team for London. And he has. Fighting in the lightweight division……and with the added responsibility of being the boxing team captain…….such good luck to you all in London Luke.
Now finally, I know there’s a pretty fierce Trans Tasman rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, but the blokes from NZ are very good in sailboats! So I’ve chosen the Men’s Skiff 49er class to follow – the team of Peter Burling and Bkair Tuke. Besides being incredibly talented, if you check out their team profiles, you’ll see two pretty hot black singlet (all NZ sporting teams work on the ‘all black’ colour scheme – it’s been their trademark forever) clad lads……that are incredibly easy on the eye as well. Which makes them such a pleasure to watch out there all windswept, salt spray wet and athletic! There might even be an aftershave ad in there somewhere.
We have our Negociants UK gal on the London 2012 ground – Lady Emma Crowther – lined up to send exclusive reports back with respect to Olympic Happenings of Note – so I will ask her to try and track the boys down at some stage for a chat.
So there you have it folks. Olympics are Go!