Wednesday, 20 August 2008

More Olympian Moments

photo from today's The Age Online
photo by Steve Christo

For me, there have been two stand-out performances of the Games, although my viewing has been limited. I’ve already mentioned Nicole Cook’s aggressive finish of the road race, and this morning, I got to see Sally McLennan’s 100m hurdle finals from last night, in slow motion, and the inevitable post race interview. Her speaking-to-a-TV-person skills are raw, as she speaks literally what’s on her mind. And it works. Some people should never open their mouths without rehearsing their script, but Sally speaks and it’s amusing and engaging and charming. I grinned at her enthusiasm when she asked the reporter “Did you see that? Did you see what I did?? Did you see my start???” Yes, Sally, we all saw it – you are on national TV!

But that’s not what impressed me. It was her incredible self-backing, and her lift when the American favourite stumbled; that fraction of a second that saw Sally surge, taking advantage 110% of a micro-moment within the race and finishing that same hunger that drove Nicole Cook. That was awesome.

So, what about Anna Meares they are all asking me at work. I don’t rank Anna Meares’ performance last night as stand out. But her guts, grit and determination over the last 7 mths to get to the Olympics are. Full respect.

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