Toni wearing his CTR T-Shirt 

Toni Modelling his Coach to Rio Polo

After spending the entire day with Toni yesterday I resolved to give him a few hours respite from my constant questioning before calling to see how his rest day was going. Anyone who has read this blog over the last few weeks will know the answer to this question. Toni was back at the tracks practicing block starts with Karla.

“I thought you were shattered and going to take a break”

Toni’s answer takes the form of a mumbled apology, “Karla and Nikita are competing at Leap this weekend so we needed to just work on some last minute details”.

blocks1 blocks2

Off the Blocks


Mention of ‘Leap’ managed to distract me as easily as throwing a ball for a golden retriever, “What’s Leap?”

“It’s the European Athletics Permit meeting”.

“I’m no Samuel Johnson but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t spell Leap”

“It’s held at Loughborough”.

“Ah, get it, wish them good luck”.

“I will”.

When the Olympic Podium Isn’t Worth Climbing

‘Seeing that you’re working, here’s a work question. What’s your take on the golfers pulling out of the Olympics?”

“It’s a difficult one to answer without sounding asinine”.

“Do you subscribe to the school of thought that says if the Olympics isn’t the pinnacle of your sport then it shouldn’t be in?”

“In part. There’s a profile and participation element to it too. Some sports benefit from the profile so you can see why their governing bodies want in. I do question sports like tennis and golf. I know golf was in the early Olympics but does the sport really need the profile compared to something like squash?

For athletics the Olympics without question the pinnacle of the sport. But for Golf? It’s not exactly the fifth majors is it? It’s not tennis’ fifth Grand Slam”.


“What about citing Zika as a reason to pull out?”

“Jess is competing”. Protracted silence.

“Point made. How are your preparations coming along from Rio?”

“My preparations?

“You know, mosquito spray, sun cream, toothbrush…”

“Check to all of those. My sponge bag is complete”.

“I’m impressed”.

Toni Needs Your Help

“My main worry is boredom”.

“When you’re there?”

“Yes, there’s a lot of waiting around that, if you’re not careful, is time easiest spent at the never ending buffet”.


“So I’m after some good box sets or books”.

“What type of thing?”

“Something I can watch that isn’t full of cliffhangers so I don’t feel compelled to watch loads at a time. Y’know, like Murder She Wote”.

“You’re so rock n roll”.

“I know”.

“Maybe we should do a shout out through the blog for ideas”.

“Do it”.

Consider yourself asked. What should Toni watch and read in Rio?