London 2012

Peter Beagrie's Olympics

My Olympics

Ahead of London 2012 we asked a range of personalities to let us know what the Olympics means to them. Sky Sports football pundit Peter Beagrie tells us why watching Team GB could leave him in floods of tears...

Who would you class as the greatest Olympian of all time?

People would probably say Steve Redgrave because of his haul of medals, but for me, Daley Thompson was the most suave, the most cool and the most professional athlete I ever saw. He was incredible. He had composure, he had focus and everything about him was great. I loved him. Everybody else would scowl and get in the zone and looked like they were toiling with themselves psychologically, but Daley just looked around with a grin from ear to ear. That probably came from the knowledge that, at the most important times, he could produce. For a decathlete he wasn't the tallest, but some of his high jump performances were better than guys who were seven inches taller. He was amazing.

What are your favourite Olympics memories?

As I've said above, I loved watching Daley Thompson, who was the most complete athlete I've ever known. I'd also like to mention the era when we had Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Steve Cram and Peter Elliott doing so well in the middle-distance running. That gave me some of the most exciting sporting moments I've ever seen and I don't think that will ever be replicated.

How much of London 2012 will you be watching? Are you going?

For logistical and financial reasons I'm not going and I am wondering how the organisation and transportation side of things will work out. We've already had major mishaps over the allocation and pricing of tickets, which is a real shame, but I'll be watching every bit that I possibly can on television.

Which events are you most looking forward to?

I'm a massive athletics fan, but my love of the Olympics is diverse. I watch everything from the sailing to the gymnastics and I love the cycling nowadays. The cyclists are so professional and the preparation and funding that goes into those guys is incredible. Also, we seem to have produced good swimmers over the years.

How do you think Team GB will fare?

We had an unprecedented 19 golds in Beijing, but I think we could go even better with a passionate home crowd behind us to spur all the athletes on. When you look at the haul we could potentially get in the cycling, sailing and rowing then I'm really excited. I'm passionate about all the sports and when someone stands on the rostrum and receives a medal I will be bawling my eyes out. You have to put so much work in and drag a performance out of yourselves to get any one of those three medals and I don't mind admitting I'll be shedding a few tears!

Do you think there will be a positive legacy for sport in this country?

I hope so. I'm getting goosebumps just talking about it, so surely people will be inspired? Sport is a great way to better yourself; youngsters can gain incredible discipline and you have to make great sacrifices to reach the top of the tree. I think there will be a legacy left because I envisage Team GB absolutely smashing it and that will inspire people.

What sport would you like to see added to the Olympics?

Over-50's football! That way I might be able to pull on a Great Britain vest! Bring in veterans football! I would have loved to be able to represent Great Britain. What a sense of achievement it must be to be picked for your country and then to get the chance to perform on home soil.

If you were to enter the Olympics, which event would you choose and why (you can't pick football)?

It would have been gymnastics, but I've just had a knee operation so that's out of the window. I'd like to introduce Olympic talking. If there was a gold medal for talking I reckon I could win it!

Related