Friday 22 November 2019

Larsson still ranks highly

THERE'S been widespread criticism that 500 British troops, just back from Afghanistan, lost their furlough for enforced Olympic security duty.

They are apparently sleeping on camp beds in some dodgy billet near Tower Bridge for the duration.

Yet the squaddies have proved unfailingly good humoured and among the most charming ambassadors for London 2012.

Not surprisingly, the ones who bagged the best Olympic tour of duty -- beach volleyball -- are grinning their heads off. Even before LOCOG decided to let the army's off-duty security into arenas to help fill up the empty seats, one of them confessed to "slipping in for a quick peek or two!"

By now many of the soldiers have embraced that most Olympic of obsessions so when they're inspecting your bag they'll show you their 'pin' (badge) collection and enquire if you've any to add.

Our favourite X-ray machine exchange so far came yesterday.

Butch Scottish soldier on clocking his client's ID: "Are you from Sweden, sir? You wouldn't, by any chance, know Henrik Larsson?"

Blasé Swedish journalist: "Actually, I do. I work as a soccer commentator." Scottish soldier: "No! What? Really? You ACTUALLY know Henrik Larsson sir?" Non-plussed Swede: "Yes, really, I do."

Scottish soldier: "Och that's amazing! Will you say hello to him for me, please sir? I'm his biggest fan." Sanguine Swede: "Yes, I certainly will." Bless!

Irish Independent

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