LONDON, England (AFP) — Quotes of the day from the London Olympic Games yesterday:
“He’s up against a Brit and that’s the most important thing. Round one, first Ashes Test.”
— Australia athletes liaison officer Steve Waugh, the former Australia cricket captain, has a familiar feeling as archer Taylor Worth is drawn against Britain’s Alan Willis in the first round at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
“I took the underground train to Oxford Street. I did a lot of shopping there. I am not done yet. I want to go and shop more after my competition.”
— Shooter Bahya Mansour Al Hamad, having shattered a gender stereotype as one of the first female Olympic competitors from Qatar, reinforces another.
“You need the endurance of a Siberian husky, the strength of a cage fighter, and the reactions of a fighter pilot — although I wouldn’t rate my chances against a cage fighter.”
— US national champion Timmy Duggan explains what it takes to be a top road race cyclist.
“We got ding-donged by Big Ben during practice. That was fantastic.”
— Czech beach volleyball player Petr Benes enjoys hearing the chime of the clock in the Houses of Parliament, one of London’s most famous sounds.
“My wife kept going on because she was getting ecstatic that the Queen had sent us a letter. I kept saying ‘F... The Queen — Johnny Marr’s sent me a message on Twitter! And Robbie Fowler — I had a message from God.”
— Bradley Wiggins, Britain’s first Tour de France winner and a London 2012 medal prospect, is rather more pleased to receive congratulations on his groundbreaking achievement from Smiths guitarist Marr and former Liverpool striker Fowler than a Royal seal of approval.
“There’s a huge amount to get right. There are always going to be one or two teething problems.”
— British culture minister Jeremy Hunt just moments before he literally dropped a clanger when part of a bell he’d been given to ring flew off into a group of women behind him. No one was hurt.
“I’ll never do one again!”
— Film director Danny Boyle confirms he has no plans to repeat the experience of overseeing the production of another opening ceremony after masterminding Friday’s curtainraiser to the London Games.
“Height is overrated. It’s not how tall you are, or how fast you are, or how strong you are. It’s what goes on inside. Height doesn’t mean anything.”
— US ‘Dream Team’ star LeBron James, who is 6ft 8in (2.03m), insists basketball isn’t solely a game for giants.
“I’ve had a long career and I’ve had a lot of success already. On the other hand, I’ve had quite a lot of disappointments, and I know that in both cases life goes on in quite a similar way as before.”
— Finnish sailor Sari Multala displays an admirably level-headed approach to winning and losing.
“In 1948 (in London) we won a silver medal in the 400m hurdles from Duncan White. We also got our independence the same year. Duncan put Sri Lanka on the world map. Since then we have done well in cricket and other sports. London has been a lucky city for Sri Lanka.”
— Shemal Fernando, Sri Lanka’s team leader, hopes history repeats itself.