Warren Gatland will not make the same mistakes as Sir Clive Woodward when he leads the Lions this summer.
Sir Clive’s touring team crashed 3-0 to New Zealand in 2005 but it was not just on the pitch there were problems for England’s World Cup-winning head coach.
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The Olympic rower talks about her 12-year struggle to strike gold, her academic career – and the healing power of safari
It’s very clearly an Olympic rower’s house right now,” says Katherine Grainger as she ushers me in from the rain into her red-brick house in Maidenhead, Surrey, in the south-east of England.
“Right now” suggests that she feels apologetic about her rowing paraphernalia lying unpacked in the study. This is odd after a summer of outstanding sporting spectacle, with Grainger’s story a scriptwriter’s dream. Dubbed the Steve Redgrave of women’s rowing, in three previous Olympics – Sydney, Athens, Beijing – she had to settle for silver. Then, on home waters, and with the nation holding its breath, she finally struck gold, victory in the double sculls giving her the place on top of the podium for which she had strived so hard, and for so long.
However, as Grainger leads me to the sitting room, it becomes clear that her rowing reference was not an apology but a statement about her home. She may have won 12 medals at world championships and Olympics since 1997 but, she says, “I use my house to get away from rowing in a good way. The only room with rowing pictures is my study. The others are deliberately not rowing or sport.” The sitting room is dominated by photographs of elephants and lions. “They give me perspective and balance,” she says. That was vital after the Beijing Olympics, where she lost gold in the quadruple sculls by a small margin. “It was a crushing disappointment, like suffering a massive personal loss. I had to go through a huge grieving process.” Read the full article
Despite talk of reform, the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Beijing Olympics proved to be catalysts for rights abuses. Mihir Bose asks whether human rights should be a criterion for hosting coveted international sporting events
On the evening of 13 July 2001, as Beijing held a press conference in Moscow to celebrate securing the 2008 Olympics, they had an unexpected visitor: François Carrard, the Swiss lawyer who was executive director of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Normally on such occasions the IOC keeps its distance and lets the victorious city have its moment in the sun. But Carrard felt he had to address the media on the human rights issue.
In the lead-up to the vote, Beijing’s rivals, in particular Toronto and Paris, had made much of China’s human rights record. As the members gathered, some 50 protesters assembled outside chanting “Free Tibet”. The Russian police, some wearing riot gear, broke up the protest and six people were seen being taken away in a waiting bus after demonstrators tried to unfurl three banners on the Moscow River embankment, opposite the World Trade Centre where the IOC was meeting. There were reports of 12 arrests.
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With increasing lack of trust in politicians and church leaders, sports stars have filled the vacuum.
Formula One’s presence in Bahrain this weekend was the result of the sport forgetting a very important principle: that sport is more than just athletic activity or, in this case, buzzing round a circuit in hi-tech cars. Above everything else, it has a moral dimension.
By choosing to race in a kingdom whose suppression of human rights has been so widely broadcast to the world, the petrol-heads are not only damaging their own sport but also the credibility of the wider sports movement.
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Discussing if sports and politics ever mix on BBC World Service News Hour – with Sir Jackie Stewart and John Taylor
You can listen again here, the topic starts at around the 33minute mark.
Please note that this will only be available for 7 days.
Other General sport articles
- Can there ever be a ‘best ever’ sporting achievement? - March 16, 2012
- Al Jazeera ready to bid for the Premier League - February 28, 2012
- The Spirit of the Game – The Observer review - February 12, 2012
- The Spirit of the Game – The Telegraph review - February 8, 2012
- The Spirit of the Game – The Independent on Sunday review - February 5, 2012
- The big lie of sport - February 4, 2012
- The Spirit of the Game – The Spectator review - February 4, 2012
- The Spirit of the Game – Evening Standard review - February 2, 2012
- The World Today Weekend interview - January 29, 2012
- English season is baffling, says Springbok Pienaar - January 27, 2012
- Broadcasting House – paper review - January 22, 2012
- The Spirit of the Game – The Independent review - January 20, 2012
- The Week with George Galloway – interview - January 20, 2012
- Midori House interview - January 20, 2012
- Night Waves - January 19, 2012
- Robert Elms Show - January 19, 2012
- The Spirit of the Game – FT review - January 16, 2012
- Does sport still embody a notion of fair play and Corinthian spirit? - December 12, 2011
- Qatar leads Silverstone race - October 30, 2011
- Judges Process (BASA) - October 24, 2011
- 5 Live Breakfast: Your Call – Has Sky Sports been good for football? - April 20, 2011
- ‘Discrete events’ skew sport betting - February 1, 2011
- Commonwealth Games 2010: failings of Indian approach there for all to see - September 26, 2010
- The Commonwealth Games: a damaging drip-feed of Indian incompetence - September 23, 2010
- The Commonwealth Games: why India is a bit player in the world of sport - September 23, 2010
- Audley Harrison: Get ready for the greatest comeback - September 14, 2010
- Polo’s challenge: sporting innocence versus modern demands - July 23, 2010
- Essay on Sport - January 1, 2007
- Deported before I had chance to write a word - November 24, 2004
- In awe of the man who has winning formula - September 30, 2004
- IAAF admit failure in the war on drug cheats - August 27, 2004
- Why did Mugabe think I was such a danger to his regime? - April 21, 2004
- Athletics: Conte goes to ground as drugs inquiry gathers pace - October 26, 2003
- Crozier’s Wembley dream fulfilled - September 26, 2002
- Barbados sends biggest squad to Manchester - July 2, 2002
- Samaranch and Blatter face nepotism charges - May 18, 2001