Today is the beginning of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The mini-Olympics of the British Empire, if you will.
And for weeks now our local media has been puffing and panting and talking clean sweep for our swimmers and cyclists. Unfortunately our cycling medal tally took a hit early; Cycling News reports "ProTour riders such as Robbie McEwen, Brad McGee, Stuart O’Grady and Michael Rogers weren’t able to secure releases from their professional teams".
To make things worse, as I type this I’m continually refreshing another browser window and have seen the times for the Mens 4000m Individual Pursuit slowly pop up. Without any disrespect to the boys who are representing us in this event, we are really missing Brad McGee. Last time he rode one of these things with a 10 day old broken collarbone along for the ride he landed an Olympic Silver to go with 2 previous Olympic Bronzes. Our 2 contestants here have ridden qualifying times that place them 7th and 10th. McGee’s qualifying time from Athens was 4 seconds better than the fastest qualifier here.
But things are looking up. Sisters Anna and Kerrie Meares have just brought home the Gold and Bronze in the womens 500m Time Trial.
Nothing new yet, but the mens 1000m is on soon and we haven’t lost event this since Gabriel played fullback for Jerusalem. The most exciting aspect of this event is that the previous 2 Olympic champions plus three others who have earned Worlds medals are going head to head.
The television coverage is delayed by an hour or so to try and force people who live here to buy tickets and see it live. Nice theory. Except I fall into the category of poor people who live too far away. I’ve made the trip in 22 hours in my youth but 2400km (1500mi) is sensibly a 3 day drive from the venue. So it would be $600 for the petrol in the car plus food plus overnight stops plus the cost of the ticket. It’s easy to remain happy with a 1 hour telecast delay when faced with those figures.
And a little closer to home…
My self awareness campaign is in full swing. What an eye opener it is to note down every scrap of food that passes my lips. The first 4 days have been interesting. I have found myself regularly wanting food. Not hungry. Just wanting. Grazing out of habit. 9240 calories in 4 days is not quite the goal I had set. But I don’t mind much. According to nutritiondata.com a person of my height weight and age with a sedentary lifestyle burns 2964 calories a day to maintain current weight. My daily average is 600 calories less than that. Plus I have worked a full day of parcel delivery and ridden 70 minutes at 29kph (18mph) on another day. Tomorrow (Friday) will be a 2 hour ride and Saturday for the last 5 weeks has been over 80km (50mi) and will be again this week.
Gold, Gold, Gold
As we speak, Gold to Ben Kirsten in the kilo by 0.034 of a second. Yes, by one tenth of one third of a single second. On that note I must go and recline in front of the big screen and wait for the delayed telecast of that cherished moment. I have signed off my calorie counter for the night and won’t be taking a bowl of cornchips with me into the other room. I promise.
Addendum 8:37pm – Mr7 came out of bed, stood to attention and sang the national anthem for the medal presentation for our 2 timetrial Golds. It’s enough to make a grown man cry.