The silver medal efforts of Anna Meares and Sally Pearson at Beijing 2008 rank highly among the Olympic memories of Fox Sports News London Update host Chris Stubbs.
Chris Stubbs remembers, in particular, the efforts of Meares, because of the horrific injuries the sprint cyclist sustained in the lead-up to the Games, and Pearson because of the pure jubilation the hurdler displayed after crossing the line and in her post-race interview.
Image: Chris Stubbs … Fox Sports News presenter once fancied himself as Kieren Perkins.Source: Fox Sports
He tells you his favourite Olympic memories and his expectations for the London Games.
What is your first Olympic memory?
Barcelona in 1992 is when I was first captivated by the Olympics: I was so taken by the achievements of Kieren Perkins, the next day I made my mum take me to the local swimming pool and I signed up with the squad. Fair to say, I didn’t match Kieren’s efforts: after struggling through 50 metres I dragged myself out of the pool in tears and never went back. Other than that, I can still remember words to Amigos para Siempre from the opening ceremony, cheering on Kathy Watt in the road race, and the original Oarsome Foursome.
What is your favourite Olympic moment, and why?
I hate to say it but I can’t go past the obvious one: Cathy Freeman. It was THE moment of THE Olympic Games. Also loved the silver medals of Anna Meares and Sally Pearson (nee McLellan) in Beijing; the efforts of Meares given her horrific injuries in the lead-up and then the pure jubilation of Sally after crossing the line and then her interview post-race. Brilliant.
Who would you nominate as the greatest Olympian in history?
Tough one to compare, but British rower Steve Redgrave would have to go close with five gold medals at five Olympic games … to be top of your sport for 20 years is just phenomenal, and in an underappreciated physically gruelling event.
Which athlete are you most looking forward to seeing perform in London, and why?
I’m hoping I’ll be able to see Usain Bolt set a world record in the 100m. It’s clearly the Blue Ribon event of the Games and, rightly or wrongly, the moment most people associate with the Olympic movement. From an Aussie perspective, I’m looking forward to watching James Magnussen take on Cesar Cielo in the 100 free, and Sally Pearson be rewarded with gold. They’re both so confident in their abilities and great role models for our country.
What Olympic event are you most looking forward to seeing in London, and why?
If Steve Hooker is in form, I can’t wait to see him on the runway. The pole vault is one of those events where the entire stadium is focused on the one athlete for those few seconds, and it’s their moment to shine. The drama and anticipation as they launch and the roar of the crowd if they clear the bar is just electric.
Who will be Australia’s star of the London Games?
The Missile Magnussen. Australians love the pool and there’s a legitimate chance he could win three golds: the 50, 100 and 4×100. He is the most marketableman we have: he’s the typical “every girl wants to be with him and every guy wants to be him” type. He has swagger.
Will Usain Bolt be beaten in London?
Not unless he false starts (again) or is injured. He will win the 100-200 and there is probably not a surer gold medal at the games than Jamaica in the 4x100relay (taking away the inevitable factor of baton change problems).
How do you rate Australia’s uniforms for the Opening Ceremony?
I like them. Anything that is reminiscent of the bowls club and the corresponding beer prices is a good thing.
Will Australia top Great Britain in the medal table?
Unfortunately not. Australia will end up with 13 gold medals, GB 18. You can’t underestimate the home ground advantage.
Will London 2012 be “the best ever Games”?
No. In the words of Rose Tattoo: “We can’t be beaten”.
Leave a comment at the foot of the story to tell us your favourite Olympic memories, and your expectations for London 2012.