Alex Chick

  • GB make history in complex, thrilling drama

    This was a momentous day for British Gymnastics, and not just because our men's team won the country's first medal in the sport for 100 years.

    No, this was the moment when a nation became experts on the finer points of the rules.

    How else to explain the cacophonous booing within the North Greenwich Arena, and nationwide outrage, as a Japanese appeal relegated Our Boys from silver to bronze?

    As far as I understand it, which is not very far, the controversy surrounded Kohei Uchimura's 'dismount' from the pommel horse, and whether it constituted a fall - this was the fateful moment that had

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  • Today at the Olympics – Day 3


    Tom Daley has struggled since a growth spurt added six inches to his height two years ago. His form seems to be returning and this is his first opportunity to try to take a gold medal away from the Chinese. He and Peter Waterfield have a great rapport but know a medal of any colour would be a tremendous result.

    Main rivals: China and Germany

    Diving - Men's Synchronised 10m Platform - Final - 15:00


    Let's not pretend otherwise - all eyes will be on Zara Phillips as the team eventing enters the cross-country stage in Greenwich. However, it is William Fox-Pitt and

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  • Olympic Review – Day 2

    A lone group of soldiers watch women's gymnastics qualifying at the North Greenwich Arena


    Small steps and swimming records - Great Britain got on to the medals table, but are still looking for their first gold. A gutsy performance from Lizzie Armitstead earned silver in the women's road race cycling, while Rebecca Adlington took a creditable bronze in the 400m freestyle swimming.

    In the pool, records tumbled despite the ban on the synthetic suits seen in Beijing. South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh set a world record, winning gold in the 100m breaststroke, while the USA's Dana Vollmer torched the 100m butterfly record, becoming the first woman to break the

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  • Empty seats spoil swimming spectacle

    I came in search of empty seats.

    Unparked bums became a major issue when they marred the opening day of Olympic action at London 2012 at 'sold out' sports such as swimming.

    This morning, the Aquatic Centre again sported several hundred incriminating white voids as organisers scrambled to find somebody - anybody! - to plug the gaps.

    Most frustratingly, the worst-affected areas were in the best and most visible seats. Back in the gods it was rammed with an eclectic mix of flag-waving Brits, Aussies, Dutch, Americans and Canadians.

    The visual of empty seats may not be pretty - it has been

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  • Today at the Olympics – Day 2

    Rebecca Adlington stars in the pool


    Rebecca Adlington begins the defence of her two Olympic titles in the 400m freestyle final. After the disappointment of Sunday's road race cycling, the pressure on the 23-year-old has ratcheted up another notch in front of an expectant home crowd. Jo Jackson bids for a medal in the same event. Later on, Michael Phelps looks for his first medal of 2012 in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay.

    Adlington's main rivals: Francesca Pellegrini (Italy), Camille Muffat

    Swimming - Finals from 19:30


    It has been billed as the best USA basketball team since the original Dream

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  • Olympic Review – Day 1

    A lone, dejected Mark Cavendish finishes the men's road race


    Shocks - Great Britain's cycling road race 'Dream Team' failed to propel Mark Cavendish into the medals. The five-man home team, including Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, failed to reel in a large breakaway group, leaving Kazakhstan's Alexandr Vinokurov to take gold on The Mall.

    An even bigger surprise came in the pool where Michael Phelps also failed to medal in the men's 400m Individual Medley, as Ryan Lochte won the American swimmers; first big duel. Phelps had won the IM at each of the last two Olympics.


    Helen Glover and Heather

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  • Box Hill triumphs as Brits fade

    The peloton sweeps up Box Hill (photo Alex Chick)

    Britain didn't get the result it wanted or expected, but Saturday at Box Hill provided stirring evidence of cycling's rude health in this country.

    Tens of thousands, with and without tickets, flocked to this picturesque corner of the North Downs in Surrey to see the heart of the men's road race - nine circuits of the Box Hill climb - in a show of popular support for a sport that would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

    Walking to the hill, I met a small group of Slovaks. I asked them about their rider Peter Sagan's chances, and was met with surprise that I knew who he was. Of course I know

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  • Today at the Olympics – Day 1

    Cavendish won the test eventAfter Friday's dazzling Opening Ceremony, who's for some sport?

    And it's quite a start, with 12 gold medals decided on the first full day of competition.

    Here's what you need to know.


    Mark Cavendish looks to kick off the home nation's medal tally in the cycling road race. The 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year will have his work cut out staying in the peloton as the race flies over Surrey's Box Hill nine times. If he is still in contention near the finish on the Mall, then they can start engraving the gold medal. He is backed up by a fearsomely strong British team featuring

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  • A masterpiece, not a ceremony

    'I'm not really a ceremonies person.'

    I said that all week. I didn't think I would go to the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, and I wasn't really bothered.

    Even when positive reviews came from those who had seen the rehearsal, I remained unmoved.

    What's the point of going to a big sporting event if you aren't going to watch any sport?

    Then, on Friday lunchtime, I found out that there was, in fact, a place open if I wanted it.

    I'm not really a ceremonies person - but you're not going to say no, are you?

    This week, Eurosport replayed the Beijing Opening Ceremony. It was absolutely astonishing.


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  • Thank you, Mitt Romney.

    Whatever the US presidential candidate goes on to achieve in his political career, his place in British folklore is secure.

    With his criticism of London 2012 yesterday, Romney carved out a historical niche as the man who united Britain behind the Olympics.

    After weeks of outrage about the lack of security personnel, and fears of immigration staff going on strike, Romney incurred our wrath by voicing exactly the same concerns.

    His sentiment, "It's hard to know just how well it will turn out," will have been uttered at some point by virtually every Briton, probably using

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