BBC World Service World Have Your Say: female athletes in the Olympics

On Monday, I was invited onto the World Service’s World Have Your Say programme to talk about Britain’s performance in the Olympics – in particular, the showing of our female athletes, and whether this his been a breakthrough Olympics for women’s sport. (The researcher got in touch as a result of this piece for the Guardian.) It was a really enjoyable hour, and I especially liked listening to Ghanaian judo competitor Emmanuel Nartey, who was hugely good natured under a torrent of questions about how it felt to lose. (I’d have guessed at “bloody awful”, but like most elite athletes and everybody else, Nartey has a more mature attitude to success and failure than me.)

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It’s (unexpectedly) not shite being British: on the Olympic opening ceremony

You love a failure. I know you do, because I do too. I’m keen on both the Olympics and Danny Boyle, and even so I was screwing up my eyes into mean little slits of delight at headlines such as “Danny Boyle urged to drop live animals from Olympics opening ceremony: Animal rights groups say organising committee may face prosecution if it uses farmyard animals in three-hour spectacular“, and “Olympic opening ceremony: a feast of drama … and that’s just the rehearsals: Source says relations between Danny Boyle and broadcasting firm now so strained that director’s trailer has extra security“. You can’t be sure of success, but a humiliating, unmitigated shambles? Now that’s something to tell your grandchildren about.

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