London 2012

Johnny Nelson'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 boxing pundit Johnny Nelson expects the sport to strike gold, just like a Sheffield neighbour did over 30 years ago...

What is your favourite Olympic memory?

Linford Christie winning the 100m final in 1992. He'd got beaten every time he'd tried to get that win, by Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson, but he finally did it. I've got in my bedroom a picture of him crossing the line and that is just class. Class.

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

Gosh it's a tough one because you'd have to look at an all-rounder, but I have to say I loved the battle between Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett. Loved them every time and Sebastian Coe was my favourite because he was a Sheffield lad like me, down the road. I have to pick Coe because when he put his foot down and went up a gear, he was like a gazelle. He was great to watch.

How much of London 2012 will you be watching?

I'll be watching as much as a possibly can. 1 - It is in London; 2 - I'm not being critical but I want to see how we are running it and organising it; 3 - I will be watching it to see who is there and watching what! When they became available the tickets went fast and furiously, so everybody and anyone seems to have one - apart from me. But I am trying to see if I can get some for the boxing, of course. I'll get one somehow, or I'll end up getting a job as cleaner there!

Which event are you most looking forward to?

Of course the 100m and of course the boxing, which is an absolute must. Other than that, I know people say 'great football is in it', but I don't consider it an Olympic sport. We see it all the time, so I can't put it in with those two.

How do you think Team GB will fare?

In boxing I think we will win four golds. That is the honest truth. I've seen these guys work and work hard and they are good, believe me. All of them are in the top five in the world and it's all about getting the right opponent at the right time. They are boxing at home of course and don't be surprised if they get four golds. At least. Also we have three girls who are very, very good as well, so don't be surprised if there's more golds. Overall, this is a great chance for Team GB and the youngsters and experienced competitors to show off, show the world how good they are. They have their families and friends there to support them and that is a massive boost. It's not very often they have that environment and that means we will get so many personal bests and I am sure, plenty of medals too. Team GB will be a success.

Do you think the London 2012 legacy will benefit boxing? And sport in general?

After it's all done and dusted, it comes down to the Government's attitude to sport and fitness. Eventually the legacy should be great, but of course there will be a few eyesores that don't get used after the Games if the Government doesn't encourage healthy lifestyles and sport in schools. A lot of the facilities will go to waste if they don't do that and we will be left with a load of white elephants. Then everyone will be saying 'look at what we've built and look at how much we've spent', instead of looking at the positives of London 2012 and what follows.

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

Well we have got women's boxing for the first time which is one I wanted. I'm a horses and show jumping fan and they are in of course. It seems they are going right across the board with new events, but let's hope something like American Football, that has a world champion in a sport that only really America plays, does not make it! We need sports that are played all over the world.

If you were to enter the Olympics, which event would choose? You cannot pick boxing!

If you were given the chance, you would look at it and think of the world's greats: the heavyweight world champion and the Olympic 100m champion. So it has to be the 100m. It is the most watched event in the world, everybody is drawn to it - even if they don't like it or it's not one of your favourites. It is the most sought-after ticket at the Olympics, and as I can't get a ticket, I'd have to enter! I am friends with Linford Christie and I remember we always used to bump into each other at sports awards and he just couldn't get under 10seconds, every year. We were about the same size and build but then he dropped under 13stone and bang, he was a new man. It proves that I could do what Linford managed. Well, lose the weight at least...