I turned up yesterday for interminable meetings and orientations, wearing my habitual academia-cool rig: cherry-red DMs, black 501s, quietly striped shirt. You know, the devastatingly suave look I've adopted over the years.
Within an hour, I was wearing man-made fibres in the most horrendous shades, and my conversation has headed the same way. My particular team is wearing a particularly fetching virulent yellow shade this year - polo shirts and hoodies (I've brought my camera, so may trat . This garb is compulsory for the next five days, despite them giving us only two shirts…
Once dressed as a Tracksuit Studies student, you're treated as one. No more talk of books, music or any of the other things that make us rounded people. Instead, we talk of development, and Fast Track, training camps and performance skills, slag off our National Governing Body presidents and bemoan the disaster which befall us. We share our tales of visiting glamorous cities, to see only the inside of a sports hall, then we disperse to count kit or check bus provision.
Yes, it's going to be a weird weekend. This morning we meet the Athlete Village Leaders and other strangely-monickered people, then the early arrivals appear. Later on, the full teams turn up and the firefighting begins. Meetings at 6.30 a.m. and patrolling corridors until 2. There's a posh opening ceremony with all sorts of Olympians tonight, then competition starts tomorrow.
As they say in a popular film: No more reading - time to ROCK!