A journalist has achieved a unique double after covering his second London Olympics – 64 years after his first.
Patrick Rowley reported on the 1948 London Olympics for the Middlesex Chronicle as a 14-year-old schoolboy and has since gone on to cover 14 summer Games.
Now aged 78, he is reporting on London 2012 as a freelance hockey writer for the French news agency Agence France-Press and the Sunday Express.
Patrick was among a handful of journalists worldwide honoured by the International Sports Press Association last week for having reported on more than ten summer Olympics.
His amazing record began when he persuaded the Middlesex Chronicle’s editor, who was also captain of his local cricket team, to let him report on the 1948 Games from the perspective of a schoolboy.
He recalls: “Everyone was poor and skinny. I’d never been out of the country before and all of a sudden there were all these people from different nations who were happy to be able to travel again. There really is no comparison with the Games today.”
Over the course of his long career he has been present at many of the Games’ most memorable moments including Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen’s dominance at London ’48 and Bob Beamon’s legendary leap of the century at Mexico City 20 years later.
Not surprisingly his worst memory is of the Munich Massacre 1972. Patrick remembers arriving and being told by his sports editor to camp outside the Israeli headquarters with the advice, “don’t get yourself killed”.
Working as a freelance for most of his life, Patrick has covered Olympic sports for the Guardian, the Telegraph, The Sunday Times and the Observer.
Last week ceremony saw he and other journalists presented with replica Olympic torches by a host of Olympic sporting legends including hurdler Ed Moses, middle distance runner Kip Keino and swimming great Dawn Fraser.