Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Those sporting times

There I was, quietly minding my own business . . . Well, minding other people's business really.  I was reading blogs, but I was getting along with things in my own, quiet way, when something hit me.  Not literally, but the blog I was reading brought two things straight to the front of my memory, one of which I thought I had completely forgotten.  The Cranky Old Man's post was about ice hockey (which he called "hockey" - a different sport here in England which the Americans call "field hockey") and how the US team won some competition or other and the country came to a halt to watch the game on television.  Anyway, it brought to mind two occasions I can remember when England came virtually to a standstill because of sporting events - and I don't count last year's Olympics even when Mo Farrar won his second gold medal.

The first occasion I was reminded of was way back, getting on for fifty years ago now.  It was a Saturday afternoon, 30th July, and England had won through to the final of the World Cup.  (I'm talking football here, proper football, not rugby football, nor American football, nor Australian football.)  Given that the game was invented in England it seems surprising that this was the first time our team had been in the World Cup final.  That year the opponents were Germany.  England won a famous victory which is still talked about today - and that was the one and only time we won the cup!

The football match was of interest mainly to the men of the country, but some years later both men and women wanted to watch Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean as they took to the ice in Sarajevo for the free dance ice skating routine in the 1984 winter Olympics.  Ice sports have never been very popular in this country, but that young couple had almost everybody entranced and their 1984 routine was especially spectacular.  I well remember staying up until 2 or 3am to watch their performance but whether it was at the Olympics or the World Championships I don't recall.  Possibly the Olympics, the performance delayed because of a power cut.  Either way, it was tremendous.  And here is the video of their last amateur performance at the World Championships in Ottawa.  Spellbinding.


joeh said...

I left this reply on Skips post.

In my defense I don't recall your comments or that you read my posts. Now I am following you so then there is that!

I am not a fan of figure skating, but I do remember the names Torvill and Dean, though I would have guessed they were a magic act...I guess in a way they were.

Brighton Pensioner said...

If you could recall my comments on your blog I would suggest you have a very highly developed imagination as I certainly don't recall any! That said, I do read your blog.

Oh, and welcome. Good to have you drop by.

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh, my goodness, I had not seen this clip before and I don't think I had really appreciated Torvill and Dean at the time. They have imagination and grace as well as stunning technical skill -how could they not be world champions? Thanks for showing me this clip.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Just goes to show my age, Jenny. And welcome.