Rob Jones, MSN Sport
23/03/2011 17:32 | By Rob Jones, producer, MSN Sport

Carl Lewis interview



Diving - Tom Daley (© Stephen Pond EMPICS Sport)
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Diving - Tom Daley

Carl Lewis (© Lawrence Griffiths EMPICS Sport)

How does a home Olympics compare with others?
The best thing is the simplicity of it all. The crowd is great, they cheer for you just being there, but more than that you don't have to travel. The environment is similar. The food is similar. It makes a huge difference, even if it's not in your home city. If it's in your home city it's even better.

How should the athletes deal with the home media pressure?
Athletes need to communicate with the press and not only the press, but their community and their friends. If you say to them in the offseason I can fit you in then all of a sudden they feel a part of the process and they'll work with you. Some people will always criticise, but you can't stop everyone.

Is Twitter a good way to keep in touch with the fans?
I'm not a fan. I just don't get it. All of our lives are so boring except for maybe five minutes, and for those five minutes I don't want anyone to know about that anyway!

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What will make the London Olympics special?
London's culture and history will make the Olympics Games special. Like Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris wherever you go there is culture, art, nightlife. They've got it all. And then you're bringing the Olympics to it and bringing the whole world there with their language and their cultures. Athens and Beijing were neat cities, but they did not have all of what London has got. London has got so much to offer even without the Games. You can even walk in the Olympic Park and not even see any events and just feel the Olympics. Seb and everyone has done a great job and I just know it's going to be a great Games.

Which events will you be going to see at the Games?
I always go and see sports I've never seen before. I go to the track for maybe a day or two, but every single Olympics I go to see two or three new events. When am I going to see badminton or archery? I'm definitely going to see archery this time. So I would encourage all the people in London to pick your sport and then pick a new sport. And I bet you, you become a fan because each sport has its own culture, its own heroes and its own story. In 2010 Winter Olympics I went to see curling and other than the ridiculous British pants, it was really fascinating.

10 things not to miss at the Olympics 2012


Usain Bolt is competing in two of your events, what do you make of him?
He's had an amazing career. He's set those records and won those championships, but really the interesting and the fun part is now and taking it to the next level. He knows and we all know that if you don't have longevity then you cannot be considered the greatest. So I think he's extremely motivated to win back-to-back Olympic golds as it's only been done once. He may be ready, but there's a whole host of athletes out there that are thinking that too.

Can Bolt do the long-jump?
I just think it's ridiculous. The reason I say that is because a sprinter turning into a long-jumper is like a American football safety on defence turning into a quarter-back. They are totally different. And the long-jump is so much more difficult. However, a quarter-back could become a safety. Also, I think the one of the main things wrong with our sport is that why does he have to do my events to define his greatness? Why can't he just run his events and have a great long career? Maybe run the 400m which is easier to do? I didn't come in saying that I had to do Jesse Owens' events to be defined 'great'. I was a long-jumper that sprinted and he's a sprinter. Let him sprint. Marion (Jones) was on everything we know in the world right now and she still couldn't win the gold medal. It's a very difficult event.

The 100m record has dropped considerably since you had it, can it keep going down?
Our grandkids are going to see someone running faster. That's just the way it is. People always said, 'you can't jump over this, you can't run the four minute mile, and all those people are dead. There's no limit. People are going to be 8ft tall in one hundred years, doing things that we couldn't even imagine.

What is your favourite Olympic memory?
I think the two minutes after crossing the line of the 100m and then getting a flag was the best, along with actually receiving the medal.

Olympic ticketing factsheet
To register and for more information on tickets for the Olympic Games 2012 visit www.tickets.london2012.com

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