Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Olympic Relay

The baton fell to the floor and each bounce was as loud as two whales ramming into each other. The money, the time, the effort I had made to get here, and when it came to it I failed. I had done it countless times before and we had trained very hard to get it right. There had been eight of us at the start and I had been the best throughout the training sessions. I could feel the eyes of the whole stadium and see the cameras focusing in on me. I was glad I was wearing sunglasses as my eyes were going red. It was then I heard a voice.
“pick it up” I looked around I was not too far behind the others, so I swooped down retrieved the baton and carried on only adjusting my stride lightly. My hungry heartbeat, slowed to its normal pace and as I handed it to the 6’2” colossus of an athlete in front of me.
I thought he must have seen me drop the baton, why else was he getting it last, but his face was by then just steely, focused on the 100 metres ahead of him and the next change over in the relay. I stood behind him gathered his belongings and put them in the basket and breathed a heavy sigh of relief. The Olympics is the pinnacle of sporting achievement and I had just succeeded in my life’s ambition in taking part in the games. Relief shot over my face and I managed my first smile of a nerve-jangling day. Tomorrow I would be a judge on the 40km walk lets hope it is not as dramatic as today.

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