Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

from: Ben Brownlee

Ben Brownlee
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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Friday, 7 August 2015

from: Ben Brownlee

Salutations Beijing


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Wednesday, 17 September 2008


What a fantastic Paralympics, with GB coming in second and a real sense of fun - sometimes missing from the Olympics.

T h e s e t r u l l y h a v e b e e n t h e b e s t Games e v e r.

London 2012 has a lot to live up to - here's to the next four years.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Day Eight - Olympics come to Great Britain

We watched the Beijing Closing Ceremony and very impressive it was. Even Boris managed not to drop the Union Jack and Beckham kicked his football into the volunteers.

More local to home we then took part in Oxford's 2012 Handover Ceremony. The day was based around Nowka Bais boat racing, put on by Oxford's Bangladeshi and other communities and sponsored by private and public bodies. To finish the day, we went around the City in an open top bus with the flag raising by the Lord Mayor on Carfax Tower just before 5.30pm.

Looking at the final medal table, we've done outstanding well to reach fourth place, with 19 Golds and 47 medals in total. Fourth place was our target for the London 2012 Games so not sure where we go from here?

All in all we look forward to a more festive 2012, which will 'let go' a bit more than Beijing has. We hope its on time, under budget and just as good - time will tell!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Day Seven - Returning Home

Beijing terminal 3 is simply enormous. It is arranged like a huge spacecraft with two pylons pointing outwards to greet planes and passengers. We were through check-in, immigration and security in about half an hour. Security was quick but very thorough - lots of sniffing of various liquids and medicines for about 10 minutes for Ian.
Our flight took just over the 10 hours and Heathrow Terminal Five and our family welcomed us - the first time either of us had been through. Impressive architecture but a slow (45 minute) wait for Ben's bag left us with mixed emotions. We're looking forward to tomorrow's closing ceremony.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Day Six - Heavenly Temple

We had a great time today exploring the Temple of Heaven park and some last minute shopping. More golds for GB, but we also dropped the baton twice.
We fly home tomorrow from the new terminal three.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Day Five - Relax

A wet smoggy cloud descended over Beijing yesterday - perfect for enjoying our hotel pool and 10pin bowling. A late checkout meant we could enjoy lunch in a good Taiwanese restaurant around the corner before moving to our new hotel near the Temple of Heaven park.
TeamGB continued our best ever medal haul but the Ruskies are catching us up with 16 to our 17 golds.
We talked to other Brits about what it's like here and some problems for Beijing 2008
1) most agree the Games are the best so far, certainly for GB
2) Chinese welcome is good but not backed up by enough understanding of top 10 English phrases needed
3) information is lacking e.g. No map is handed out on entry to the Olympic park. English china state CCTV Channel 9 is useful but not publicised
4) food on the Olympic park is poor quality. 2012 can do a lot better
5) transport has been ok principally by the Chinese taking half the cars off the road every day and seem to have banned lorries. Taxis are the most convenient because they are cheap (say £4 for 5 miles) and door to door.