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Soccer players adore Kelly Holmes.

Some of the stars Nigerians adore every week on television are here as lesser stars. They have heroes that they also adore. What a great leveler the Olympic Games are.

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قديم 07-26-2012, 06:22 PM
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تاريخ التسجيل: Apr 2012
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افتراضي Soccer players adore Kelly Holmes.

Some of the stars Nigerians adore every week on television are here as lesser stars. They have heroes that they also adore. What a great leveler the Olympic Games are. Kelly Holmes won two gold medals for Britain at the Athens Olympics. She did so in the 1,500m and the 800m. She is adored by Britons and was chosen to inspire British teams here including the Soccer team.


Ryan Giggs, Greg Bellamy and the rest of Team Great Britain Soccer players are still talking about the inspirational address of Kelly Holmes. Footballers are used to pre-match and half time tactical talks by their managers. But by the time Holmes had finished talking to them, they looked small and admitted that “there’s nothing like the Olympics.”

Kelly Holmes moved them including their coach Stuart Pearce who made a great immediate impression to this reporter at the Euro ’96 where he manned the left back position for an England team that included David Seaman, Addams, Garry Southgate, Garry Neville, Paul Ince, Paul Gascoine, Teddy Sherignam, Steve Mcnaniman and the great hit man Alan Shearer.

What a great team they were. Pearce was a no nonsense defender and fondly called Macho for his macho looks and doggedness. But before a female double Olympic gold medalist he felt small and celebrated meeting her.

“Meeting Kelly Holmes was incredible,” Greg Bellami said. “She told us what to expect. This is all new to us. It’s a lot different from what we are used to in football. There’s a lot more in the Olympics. You are eating with all the athletes.

You stay in the Games village together. It all adds up to the experience of being part of the Olympics. She told us to enjoy it and embrace the Olympics. She said we should interact, meet other athletes and introduce ourselves because not many will recognize you. You are all equal at the Games Village, staying two in a room. I never thought I would be involved in something like this. This is something I would cherish for the rest of my life.”


For Giggs, the famous Manchester United star who is captain of Britain’s Olympic Soccer team. “This was a chance I couldn’t turn down. I hope it is not a one-off, I hope in future Olympics there will be Great Britain teams. It feels so special and the experience is different.” The players, who are five star heroes to football fans share small but basically furnished rooms – two to a room in the Games Village. Truly, Olympic Games are special.


Bellamy said he would like to meet Usain Bolt while Giggs craved to meet Roger Federer. Jack Cork, the Southampton midfielder chose Michael Phelps as his hero and an athlete he would like to meet and shake. So the stars Nigerians know will be gunning for the autographs of bigger stars. It only happens at the Olympics.

Soccer players adore Kelly Holmes.

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