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My Olympic Love Affair: Track & Field

Ahmed Khalifa

Few events attract as much attention as track and field. In my opinion, the Olympics revolves around the athletics and everyone gets excited when it starts. You can sense the excitement in the air in all of the previous Olympics, and this year was no different.

It’s quite ironic that, although I enjoy watching the athletics, I don’t enjoy running. Just to clarify, I do enjoy sports which involve running after a ball e.g. football, tennis, basketball, etc. but the idea of running around the track did not appeal to me when I was younger.

The commentary box: track & field

Track and Field - Olympics 2012

This year, the track and field has been terrific. The Jamaicans are once again the fastest in the world, with Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake breezing through to take gold and silver respectively in both the 100m and 200m. Hot on their heels in the 200m was new boy, Warren Weir, who secured bronze with a promising future ahead of him. Success for Jamaica was mirrored in the women’s 100m, with Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown picking up gold and bronze respectively.

My Olympic icon

Jessica Ennis, the poster girl for Team GB in this year’s Olympics, stunned the crowd and stormed through the leader board with a gold medal in the heptathlon. What really helped was the fantastic support of the home crowd, who helped to ignite the atmosphere in the stadium, making the event even more electrifying.

Ennis may have been the face of Team GB, but it’s not without hard work and determination, plus a few heart aches along the way. Back in 2008, Ennis suffered a fractured ankle which, not only meant missing the Beijing Olympics, but also threatened to end her career. She fought back with a two-year unbeaten streak from 2009, becoming Britain’s first ever European junior heptathlon champion in the 2009 IAAF World Championship, and secured an MBE in 2011, before winning gold in style at this year’s Olympics. As well as being a humble person, she’s an inspiration and a role model for all young athletes to look up to.

Meanwhile, at other Olympic venues…

For me, gymnastics is another event which stands out during the Olympics. It has been a brilliant year for Team GB with China, Japan, Russia and USA all performing brilliantly too. I have also really enjoyed watching the rowing, cycling, swimming and volleyball too, which were all entertaining to watch.

Watching Sir Steven Redgrave helping the exhausted Alan Campbell and Mark Hunter to their feet in order to collect their medals after finishing their respective rowing races was an emotional sight. It just shows the blood, sweat and tears that these athletes put themselves through to perform at the highest level.

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