Ray King: Olympic Fever
With the 2012 Olympic games looming ever nearer, athletes from all over the world will be experiencing butterflies in their tummies and they will be full of expectation. They will be testing their skills and stamina in their quests to win medals, which will bring them enormous pride for themselves and for their country.
When it was announced that London was to host the games, my good friend, the late Ian Wooldridge, top sports writer for the Daily Mail said to me, “The Sports Council will live to regret this: the astronomical cost, the threat of terrorism, requiring thousands of police and, of course, the car parking problem. This brought a rather humorous comment from the French Sports Council who had hoped that France would host the games – “It will be much easier to park your car in Calais giving you unhindered passage to the Games”.
One thing is certain – there is no way London can match the incredible display which Beijing produced four years ago. Money was no object and this was entertainment at the highest level, that none of us will ever forget. I shall be in my usual pew, taking particular interest in the long distance running events and the high jump. With many other events I am easily bored.
Old age is now taking firm control of my body. The horrendous blow to my left knee 70 years ago during an army match has come back to haunt me with a vengeance. At the age of 18, I was told by the army specialist that I would never play again. How wrong he was! Although the leg was considerably weakened I always managed to ignore the effects and play unhindered. But the leg has finally reached the point when the slightest deviation off balance and the pain almost brings me to my knees.
The thought of daily living, during whatever time I have left, in a wheelchair, causes me much anguish. My health problems are of grave concern to my son, Gary, who has enough burdens of his own without worrying about me. On the plus side we employ a wonderful housekeeper named Si-Si who hails from Myanmar (Burma). She speaks reasonable English and has a university degree in mathematics. She takes care of me every day and I know that I am so fortunate to be able to rely on her. She is as good as any nurse I have encountered. This is one of the major benefits of living in Thailand – there is no way that I would have been able to afford the services of a full-time housekeeper and nurse had I been living in the UK. This certainly helps me to keep looking on the bright side.