Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Olympic memories: We carried cameras in our pants to capture Opening Ceremony thrill

Great Britain men at 1996 Olympics Hockey: Jason Lee made his entrance into the Atlanta Olympics running down the ramp chasing after his own hat as the world waited for the entrance of Muhammad Ali

Calum Giles continues the unique and unrivalled experiences of playing for Great Britain hockey at an Olympic Games in the second of a three-part travelogue. Part One is here

The curtains slid back and the sight that greeted me was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was 7:30am and already the energy and movement outside was mind boggling. 

Due to arriving late the night before in the dark, I had no idea what my outside surroundings looked like. I’d been travelling the world and woken up in hundreds of hotel rooms for years. I thought that today would be no different when I opened those curtains, but then again, nothing about the Olympics is normal. 

We were based right opposite a field that had been set up for boxers to spa. There were dozens of them working with their trainers. I’d never been exposed to any sort of boxing environment, yet here I was watching a large collection of the world’s best, all working hard chasing their Olympic dream. Their energy levels, level of commitment and determination were inspiring. 

The roads were alive with road bikes, there were athletes running on the road and pavements, there were volleyball, basketball and softball teams all running in two lines, shoulder to shoulder, 30 seconds later the German men’s hockey team came running past. 

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Calum Giles runs Stickwise, home of accessible premier field hockey camps for children aged 5-14

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