Sunday, December 3, 2023

Recalling Rio, Great Britain hockey gold and the delirious day at the Deodoro

BIG READ: Five years on, Rod Gilmour recalls reporting on the hockey at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Team GB women’s historical gold medal at the Deodoro Stadium

For those who love their hockey and sport, the Olympics can’t be bettered. As the golds continued to be bagged for Team GB at the Rio Olympics, Great Britain were still jostling for positions in the Pool stages of the hockey competitions. Watch in awe for 10 days as athletes conjure golden moments with eye-opening feats of brilliance before settling in for the hockey medal matches. Honestly, what more could you want?

The Hockey Paper was still a few short months from being conceived – on the back of gilded success in Rio – and so working purely on hockey was a non-starter for me at the 2016 Olympics. Instead, I followed the medals for the Daily Express and Evening Standard and kept one eye on the hockey with a view of reporting from the knock-out stages.

From the pool to equestrian and badminton – via media accommodation used for the military and doused with mosquito smoke daily – Team GB were having a stellar Games. Meanwhile, for GB women, the Pool stages were going rather well. “Every morning after breakfast we would get in a circle and do stretching,” recalls Georgie Twigg. “Kate [captain Richardson-Walsh] would ask if there were any gripes or raise any issues. It was visible how close we were to anyone who was watching on.”

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