This is great, and it gives me two countries to support in the Olympics (which is just as well, because if I'd been relying solely on New Zealand, I wouldn't have any medals to be proud of as yet). The problem arises when the countries compete against each other. Most of the time, my loyalties will still lie with Britain. I was born there and spent more than two-thirds of my life there, including the most formative years. So I am thrilled for our cyclists, canoeists, swimmers, and horse-riders who are competing and collecting their medals.
We (and 'we' will always mean Britain, Liverpool, or me and him outdoors) are competing in ten rowing events this weekend along with other cycling, sailing, and athletics events. In nearly all of these events I want Britain to win, and New Zealand to come second in any of the events they are also contesting, but I must admit to a couple of dilemmas in the cycling and rowing.
Is it to be Bradley Wiggins or Hayden Roulston (who are both hard-working riders in the Tour de France)?
Alan Cambell or Mahe Drysdale (who train together and are great mates)?
To keep things fair, I want the Evers-Swindell twins (NZ) to win the women's double scull from Elise Laverick and Anna Bebington (GB), and Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham (could there be a more appropriate name?) (GB) to win the men's double scull from Rob Waddell and Nathan Cohen (NZ). Whichever way you look at it, this is a weekend to be glued to the television.
It seems that Britian and New Zealand share many things, and the latest is the barrage of sledging from Australia. John Coates, head of the Australian Olympic Committee, greeted the news that Rebecca Adlington had won gold and Joanne Jackson bronze in the 400m freestyle, as 'not bad for a country that has no swimming pools and very little soap.'
Apparently Britain's sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe has rashly wagered that Britain will finish higher on the Olympic medal table than Australia. His Aussie counterpart, Kate Ellis has countered that green really isn't his colour and that the Brits are serial chokers. There has been a further comment that Britain are only good at sports at which they can sit down. Everyone appears to be getting into a lather, but I suppose all is fair in love and sport.