Special Guest Interview: The Food and Travel Secrets of Olympians

So, we have just a bit of rest between the Olympics and Paralympics and it seems like a good time to reflect on the most incredible event in my country’s recent history. During the games, I was lucky enough to be able to interview Dr Adam Carey, an international sports nutritionist. He works with many elite athletes, to ask him a little about his job, his Olympic highlights and the role of Bimuno Travelaid in his work. This is a unique  product designed for all travellers -not just elite athletes! – to help keep their tummies healthy while abroad. Dr. Carey shares some insights into athletes’ diets and his own extraordinary adventures… Q: Can you explain a little about your role as an International Sports Nutritionist? I work with a large number of athletes and squads which have included the England Rugby Squad for their World Cup success, England Cricket for their Ashes, Chelsea Football Club for their Premiership title and the Welsh Rugby union for their recent Grand Slam. Though most of the athletes are from the UK I do look after some international athletes like Bode Miller the USA skier.  For the individuals and squads I look after we help screen and educate them to individualise their nutritional delivery to meet their personal needs to improve their performance. Q: When athletes are travelling abroad, what are your top considerations? Most of the athletes I look after have to travel a lot.  One of the biggest issues we have is the incidence of suffering an upset stomach prior to competing.  To help combat this we use a pre-biotic...

Friday Photo: The Orbit

It would be fair to say, that so far, and with only three days left, the London 2012 Olympics has been a runaway success. The country has been gripped by an incredible shared spirit, Team GB are doing fantastically, and the Games Makers – well, they really have made the games. But one thing has caused a great deal of controversy: The Orbit. This towering sculpture, meant to be an answer to the Eiffel Tower, resembles a sort of tangled helter-skelter. Like any work of modern art, there are those who sing its praises, talking about the ‘concept’ and ‘design’. Then there are those who decry it, seeing nothing more than a knotted mess of metal. It is certainly a conversation starter. My own opinion of it changes like the wind. At first I thought it was beyond ugly and wondered how it had ever been commissioned. But then, seeing it close up and lit up on TV, it took on a kind of cohesion and brusque elegance that made sense. But it seems to look different from every angle and in every light. It reminds me of an ageing supermodel – under the right light and from its ‘good side’, it has a certain ethereal beauty, but strip away the artistry and it’s a bit of a mess. What do you think about the Orbit? Do you love it or hate it?  ...

London 2012 Olympics: A Photo Essay

Screams, chants and bellows surrounded us, as we leant forwards, huddled under an umbrella, looking up at the giant screen. As the boat crossed the third line, we began to cheer too, urging our team on. Moments later, we were rewarded and the crowd erupted as Team GB got their first gold medal of the Olympic Games. Short of being at Eton Dorney, sitting in the Park Live area of the Olympic Park was the best place to be to witness that first gold being won.     We had arrived at the Olympic Park only moments earlier, full of anticipation and excitement. Ever since my Olympics tickets arrived, all pretty and pink in their own special wallet, I had been counting down the days. With amazingly trouble-free transport there (well done, Get Ahead of the Games!) and smiling volunteers to welcome us, whisk us through security and point us in the right direction – and now a gold medal, it was a flawless start to our day of Olympic Games. Flushed with victory, we wandered around the park, which is the size of a small town, only more futuristic buildings and more open space. We gazed in awe at the various structures, all of which will be the backdrops to some unforgettable moments. Then we prepared for our main event: the Women’s Basketball. A friendly police officer took our photo outside the arena, and then it was game on. Our seats were high up and in the centre, so we had a brilliant view of the entire arena. There was plenty to entertain us as Brazil and Australia...

A Perfect Day at the Proms

I suppose it would be an understatement to say that London is the place to be at the moment. Like every other person on the planet, I was glued to my TV screen watching the Olympics opening ceremony, delighting in every zany British quirk of it. I have rarely felt such a rush of affection and pride for my country.And I’ve remained glued there ever since, while ironically and uncharacteristically contemplating taking up a new sport, cheering on Team GB. Here in Britain, we’re not generally a hugely patriotic people. We look at other countries such as France and the USA with mild amazement at their flag-waving, anthem-singing antics. We complain – about everything. I mean, the weather’s generally a bit miserable, the economy’s a lost cause, and there’s always someone just waiting to push in front of you in a queue or cut you up at a roundabout, usually on the way to work when you’re half-asleep and pretty grumpy anyway. But this year is different. The weather, economy and queue-bargers have not changed, but something in the air has. There are flags everywhere, anthem-singing is common, London is being feted by the world. And it’s not just sport; while the Olympics dominate East London, West London is hosting another event – the annual Proms season. In the architecturally stunning Royal Albert Hall, international world-class classical musicians have gathered for more than a month of concerts. A star attraction of the Proms season has to be the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The orchestra, put together by Barenboim, is made up of Israeli and Palestinian musicians,...

London Transport: Get ready for the Olympics

In the first of our Olympic guides, we’re looking at London Transport: how to get around during Olympics season – and how to avoid tube-rage… There is a certain feeling in the air in London at the moment – there is definitely a buzz about the Olympic Games, but also a building sense of trepidation about the transport situation. As every Londoner knows, the rush hours on the underground are a less than pleasant experience – trains are full to capacity, people jostle, shove and stand face-to-armpit on interminable journeys to and from work. And that’s just on a normal day. Now imagine that situation plus the additional visitors to London during the summer and the mass movements to Stratford each day of the games – which will go from about 9-5, meaning that Olympic travel will coincide with workday rush-hours. Brilliant. I met with two wonderful people from Transport for London’s Get Ahead of the Games initiative to address some of these concerns and to find out what can be done to make everyone’s lives easier during the games. Firstly, just in case anyone is still thinking that it will all be ok and you can carry on with your usual journey, think again. During the games, there will be an extra 3 million journeys made every day – all going through central London at peak times. You only have to imagine the Central line at 5:30pm as it is to realise that it’s not going to work if everyone carries on ‘as normal’. So what can you do instead? Get Ahead of the Games proposes the 4...
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