Three London athletes held a press conference today, ahead of the Aviva London Grand Prix this weekend.
The three sports stars were:
- Phillips Idowu, the multi-pierced Olympic triple jump silver medallist with a super-relaxed outlook on life
- Simeon Williamson, our National 100m Sprint Champion, with a big smile (even when he’s asked about that Usain Bolt)
- Danny Crates, Paralympic Gold Medallist, the daddy of the three who’s retiring after this weekend’s event
Despite a lot of attention being given to the appearance of the seemingly invincible Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, the three boys seemed happy and relaxed before their big weekend on home turf.
As Essex-born Danny said, “There’s always going to be someone to talk about. There’s always one person who gets all the attention. Even in team sports, you see it, with people like Beckham.”
These three all have something over the Lightening Bolt this weekend, though: the chance to compete at home.
Highgate Harrier Simeon Williamson says, “It’s great to run in front of a home crowd. I love having my family and friends coming to watch.
“And it’s only an hour’s drive to get there!”
Phillips Idowu, who is World Indoor Triple Jump Champion, was raised in Hackney. Talking about Crystal Palace, he said, “It’s still a little bit too far south of the river for my liking… But I also like competing in front of a crowd that’s got my family and friends in it.”
Paralympian Danny Crates will be ending an amazing 11-year career, which includes European, World and two Paralympic medals (silver in Sydney, gold in Athens), in Crystal Palace this weekend.
He is also excited about the home crowd. “London has really passionate crowds. It’s one of the things we do so well, and one reason why I know 2012 is going to be so good.”
He added, “I always knew Crystal Palace was where I wanted to run my last race,” before reminiscing about training there as a youngster, and the nervous drives to the stadium he’s had in his long career.
We wish all three of them well this weekend.