The hustle and bustle of the crowds had been quite extraordinary. Of course, I had been in London on busy occasions before, but it had always been possible to still get around. I usually enjoyed the anonymity that London would provide, getting between meetings with little or no fuss at all. The Olympic Games however, had proved to be somewhat testing.
I will often spend a small amount of time with those that come up to me, regaling stories as and when required, but recently I have only been able to simply nod, smile and then rush off in the other direction. This makes me feel slightly arrogant, as after all it was these people that put me where I am today. I will one day make it up to them, and I have made a note of it in my journal.
I have spent most of my time in the BBC studios over the last week. I still have a number of friends who work for the Corporation and the ticketing arrangements are much easier than it would be with the IOC. On some occasions I have been requested to appear front of camera, which I have obligingly accepted. I have enjoyed a pleasant discussion with Ian Thorpe regarding the intricacies of the tumble turn, and a heated exchange with John McEnroe where I may have suggested that Tennis had no place at The Olympics. This ended agreeably enough though, with John inviting my family to his holiday home in Majorca. I shan’t go but I cordially accepted all the same.
I feel as though I must now cut to the chase, and inform my dedicated readers of the alarming event that has consumed me over the last forty-eight hours. It began on Wednesday morning, which had started the same as any other day this week. I had awoken in the spare room of Gary Lineker’s suite, and I shared breakfast with Gary and his lovely wife, before making my way to the Olympic Aquatic Centre.
When I had represented Great Britain in the Barcelona games the organisation around the events had been terrible, and I recall one awful incident where I had to literally walk from the team coach to the changing rooms, and then directly out to the blocks. It was only a heat and I won by several clear lengths, but the lack of my normal preparation routine meant my slowest time of the season. I was not happy when I returned to the coach, only to find that it had been a practical joke by my old friend, Derek Redmond, who had been bored in the first week and had moved the clocks back. The revenge I took with the air rifle, during the 400m, was quite heavy handed but it certainly taught him a lesson.
The organisation around these London games has been first class and I was met with an access pass at the door. I made my way through to the area commandeered by the ABC, which are the Australian television people, as I was due to meet them for an interview. However, on my way through the stands I suddenly felt a sharp scratch on my thigh, and you would never believe it but the next thing I knew was when I opened my eyes in a basement surrounded by pipes.
They had kept me there, for what seemed like, hours before finally a man with a thick Polish accent entered the room and began to speak. I could tell that he originated from the Warsaw region and, with a glance at the unique tattoo on his left thumb, I immediately knew that this was a man from the Schneze. A dangerous, but rather primitive, gang attempting to reclaim Polish independence. Sadly, they were not aware that this had already been achieved, and had killed everyone that had tried to convince them otherwise.
Their demands were extremely reasonable. They simply required the British government to pay them a million pounds, and they would let me go. Apparently they had Carl Lewis tied up in another chamber, but I have still not seen him to confirm this.
I was treated well enough, although the food was hardly civilised, and of course, I had become used to existing on my own sweat during that awful time in the Madagascan cannibal pit. My captor informed me that their plan was a simple ‘exchange for money’ system, so I resigned myself to waiting.
I knew that the British government would not surrender to terrorists demands, and especially from this Polish mob of lunatics, and I knew to expect a visit from the secret service imminently. I sat tight, and tried to act as congenial as possible to my hosts. I struck up a lovely relationship with one of them who talked to me of his mother who dreamed of retiring to a cottage on a lake.
Sure enough, after twenty-seven hours we received the familiar noises of a team of trained assassins as they made their way through the basement corridors. Unfortunately the Poles were taken a bit by surprise by this, and the fight lasted no more than thirty seconds. I picked up a bloody scratch to the right index finger knuckle, as my ropes were untied, which has refused to heal ever since.
It had turned out that I had been sat directly underneath the diving pool, and although I cannot claim to have witnessed it, it is the closest that I have ever been to any other British athlete winning a gold medal.
I emerged from the basement to the usual furore from the worlds press and this has sustained for well over a day now. I have had to try out various plans to escape the cameras and microphones, and I have finally found the perfect place.
I am currently writing a dainty little novella on the breeding habits of the West African Wolf, and I really must get it finished, and so my new writing idyll is perfect. The large, red, scaffolded statue that stands next to the Olympic Stadium boasts a small platform at the top, which must be the quietest, most tranquil place in all of London. I will finish this book, and hopefully spend some more time enjoying the games before the next adventure catches up with me.