“We have lots of chats about lifts”

Picture the scene: Jonathan Edwards, Tim Henman and Dame Tanni Grey-Thomson sitting around a boardroom table, arguing about door handles. That’s what you might see if you took a wrong turn while visiting London Olympics HQ and stumbled into one of the bimonthly athletes committee meetings. These Olympians have been brought together to guide the construction of the Games, and they’re particularly concerned about the 2818-home Olympic Village. It turns out that competing isn’t all about Chariots of Fire-style striving, or even the rampant, er, fraternising that is rumoured to take place as soon as the swimmers have finished. It’s also about being crammed into student-style accommodation with a bunch of strangers, trudging miles to find your room, tripping over other people’s kitbags and queueing for the bathroom, as Triple Jumper Jonathan Edwards told me. His world record, by the way, still stands at 18.29m but he doesn’t reckon he could jump very far at all now, “only about 15m”.