There’s been some excited Olympics watching at the Circles’ holiday home over the past week – especially on Super Saturday when Team GB appeared to be on a magical gold rush that culminated in an electrifying three golds in 47 astonishing minutes of track and field euphoria.
I think we all know we only get nights like this once in a lifetime, and we were jolly well going to make it our night to shine. The feelgood factor had been mounting all day following gold medals in rowing and cycling – then Jessica Ennis sprouted wings. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if there was a baby boom in nine months’ time, such was the jubilation felt by Britain on Saturday night, and then again on Sunday when Andy Murray won the tennis (which we missed, gutted!).
If you haven’t already seen the clip showing the British commentators’ reaction to long-distance runner Mo Farah’s win, it’s really worth watching – and is indicative of what went on in British households that night.
LB isn’t too fussed, being too young to really understand what’s going on, but BB has been getting into the spirit of it, learning about the different flags and cheering for ‘England’ with genuine enthusiasm. He’s pleased to have two other teams to support as well (Team USA and the UAE) and it’s definitely helped that he attends an international school as I can explain other participating nations by referencing his class mates. “France?” he’ll enquire. “Is that Valentine’s country?” “Sweden…ah, Ludvig!”
Our minds have also turned to how you become an Olympian, and while I know that’s a path my kids are unlikely to go down (BB is tall, but being left-handed, he’s very confused about which hand to throw with), we’ve had fun learning about all the athletes – and it does seem that many of them are built for Olympic success.
Take America’s swimming legend Michael Phelps. His 6ft 7in arm span is greater than his height (6ft 4in); his lung capacity is said to be 12 litres (double the average man’s) and his size 14 feet are more like flippers. I’m sure I read somewhere that his ankles are also double-jointed, enabling him to paddle his feet with extra thrust.
“Wow,” said BB, as we discussed this after Phelps’ 100m butterfly race win on Friday. BB, who does a lot of swimming in Dubai and really loves it, then glanced down at his feet to see if they might ever grow to this size, stretched his arms out, and, wide-eyed with curiosity, asked, “Does he have gills too?”
An amphibious Olympian – in the eyes of an awe-struck six-year-old who’s just learnt to fish, why not?