So I start with something completely irrelevant, as this being my blog I can do what I like!
Well, amidst much angst and uncertainty, and with an unprecedented backdrop of COVID-19, the Games Have Begun!
Today let’s back-track.
2012: Watching the Olympics in Wollongong Mall
Of course I have family links to the Games, which I am proud of — have held Olympic gold medals in my own hands!
I used to enjoy telling people I coached Beverley — and I did, in Year 10 English! The Wikipedia article there is very good, clearly written by someone who knew her well.
Beverley Joy Whitfield (June 15, 1954 – August 20, 1996 in Shellharbour, New South Wales) was an Australian breaststroke swimmer of the 1970s, who won a gold medal in the 200 m breaststroke at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. She was coached by Terry Gathercole and Don Talbot.
The daughter of a fitter and turner who worked in the Wollongong steelworks for more than 35 years, Whitfield was taught to swim along with her sister and their cousins at the age four by her maternal uncle, who was active in the local Learn to Swim program. Along with her sister and cousins, she was a childhood member of the Shellharbour Swimming Club, and was mainly taken to local swimming competitions by her father and uncle. This became even more pronounced following the death of her mother from cancer…
Her father Max was my cousin, so she was my second cousin then. Sadly she died suddenly of a heart condition in 1996.
And then there was the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, by which time I had a recently established blog — or “diary” as I called it at the time.
Saturday, September 16
GO THORPIE!!!! Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi OI!!!!! That 4X100 relay was sheer magic.
More on the Opening Ceremony–yes that torch thing did get stuck apparently! However, wasn’t that “underwater” lighting spectacular! And the waterfall! Yes–they did lay the politics of reconciliation on a bit thick, but it needs to be addressed and the Olympics was a powerful symbolic time: so too for the two Koreas and East Timor–moving moments both. However, I think the image of the girl and the songman remains the most powerful image for me.
I was tutoring in Chinatown today. One student, an 18-year-old from Mainland China, came in clutching tickets to the Olympic Table Tennis where his team will undoubtedly do well! He too admired the message of reconciliation in the Opening Ceremony, and was touched not only by that and the two Koreas being united, but also felt the fact China and Taiwan could play together in the Olympics sent a good message to the world and to the people and the politicians.
And my site passed the 2000 today! A minor matter but pleasing. In August this diary averaged seven hits a day; this month to date it has passed the total for August, averaging seventeen hits a day! Mind you that other site I declared “war” on a week ago has averaged twenty-four hits a day so far this month, so don’t get complacent my friends!
I see Brisbane has won the 2032 games — but who here will forget the bid that eventually ended with “The winner is SIDDENY!” No, not a typo — those in the know will know!