What I love about the Olympics is that it’s so contrdictory: world-class athletes compete while we get square-eyes. I’ve had the best intentions of going to the gym recently but because of the time difference and Ramadan timings, it means I can watch the Olympics more than I could at home. Tonight I gorged on a starter course of canoeing, a main dish of rowing and a delicious dessert of cycling, but getting some exercise this Olympics have almost disappeared.

I’m a strong believer that once the exercise bug catches you, it’s hard to shake. My dad’s had the cycling bug for more than 50 years. He’s one of my heroes because he still cycles up to 80 miles most Sundays, even now he’s in his 70s. As a kid I remember yelling ‘charge!‘ from the back of his bike and helping him marshal in some road races by waving the flags.

He once held a tandem record in Essex and swears with training he could have been a decent rider. I believe him: he could beat me on a bike ride any day, leaving me trailing in his wake. There’s a great monochrome image of him I wish I could share: chasing along the road with shoulder-length hair flowing the wind. I guess that’s the 70s for you!

My biggest regret is not cycling with him more often… he’s probably glad to not have me trailing his back wheel, but I would love to be home watching the cycling on TV and sharing tonight’s victories with him!

Congratulations tonight must go to Team GB’s world record breakers and gold medallists in the velodrome this evening: Chris Hoy, Jason Kenney and Philip Hinds!


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