Sport Day 11. It's Day 11 already and rather like Claire Balding whenever she's trying to keep track of who won which medal and when on what day and indeed even what time, on live television, the Olympics days are starting to blur into each other. The four hour time difference from the UK to Rio wasn't apparently enough to create too many jetlag problems amongst athletes, who tend, thanks to international competition, to be pretty used to such things, but it's left me in a kind of competition miasma. I'm sorry, what's on now? Women's Open Water swimming? Ok.
The four hour time time difference has also meant everything in broadcast terms. The big ticket events, the swimming and athletics finals, which usually dominate prime time in the UK exist in the middle of the night accessible only to those with flexible sleep patterns, a job with excellent hours or sympathetic employers. That means the sports which usually rolled around (literally in the case of the cycling) during the afternoon and tea time, are enjoying prime time slots and the opportunity to promote their sports in a way which is generally unheard of.
I don't have flexible sleep patterns, taking at least a week to get over the insomniatic bump of the Oscars or an election so my approach has been to wake up before six o'clock in the morning and watching the overnight broadcast from the iPlayer on my tv over breakfast and much long afterwards, before listening to the radio, before picking up an iDevice, in the hours before having to go work, sessions of sport, on days which have included swimming, athletics and tennis, which have stretched on into four or five hours.
But it's been well worth it even if I'm losing track of when these titanic struggles have actually occurred. This morning I saw the extraordinary pole vault final, which I won't spoil but was certainly one of the most thrilling events in this Olympics, and even though I know it happened last night, everything else is telling me it happened this morning, which it sort of did due to the time difference, if only three hours before it reached my eyes. Yesterday, I'd forgotten Max Whitlock's double golds had been Sunday night, it felt like it was a couple of days before.
So here we are at Day 11 with the prospect of more golds in the velodrome tonight, or rather the afternoon if you're in Rio's time zone and whatever other surprises crop up during the day and night. Although I'm not quite enjoying it as much as London due to the time differences, not being able to watch with social media during those events I really love, the loneliness of watching the long distance runner alone, I am at least seeing events which were somewhat in the background last time. If Netball is still my favourite team sport, Rugby 7s is now a close, close second.