Potter: Athletics Begins!

Friday morning the crowds erupted in the Athletics Arena as the first heat of the 100m hurdles in the women's Heptathlon commenced. Track and field competition is probably the most popular sports discipline at the summer Olympics. No empty seats this morning! There has been a lot of controversy in the media, with public indignation, at the banks of empty seats seen clearly on television at many of the venues. The non attendance has been blamed on International Federation delegates and sponsors who, having been given large numbers of tickets by the IOC prior to the Games, have not bothered to use them.

Wow! The host nation was stunned Friday night at the swimming venue when British Olympic defending champion, Rebecca Adlington, was beaten into bronze position by a 15-year-old sensation, Katie Ledecky, from Maryland, USA. Michael Phelps however, delighted the home audience, when he secured his 17th gold, winning the 100m butterfly for the third successive Games.

At the Athletics' Stadium, I was witness to the first USA medal in shot-put, with Reese Hoffa taking the bronze.

An aside from the running and throwing was a speedy radio-controlled electric car, a BMW Mini Mini, taking central stage in the middle of the athletics arena, ferrying the shot back from the throwing area to save time. It also has the capability to carry javelins, discuses and hammers to their respective throwers.

More tomorrow!


Roger Potter works at Mohegan Sun Casino and is a second generation Olympian. He represented Great Britain in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in the discipline of bobsled and his father, Reg Potter, captained the Great Britain water polo team in the 1948 Summer Olympics.

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