Linford Christie talks about the Olympics on his Norfolk visit

'My earliest memories of the Olympics growing up was the Americans being the leading force in sprint events with people like Ed Moses and being really excited watching all the events on the TV.

For me, it wasn't just the sprinters I looked up to and aspired to be like, there were hurdlers as well. Later on there were the likes of Steve Ovett and Daley Thompson and it was great to see people a lot closer to home doing well on the world stage.

I didn't decide to be a sprinter – it was decided for me. Everyone else said I was quick even before I knew and fully appreciated how quick I was and my coach and teachers at school really pushed me towards it.

The 1988 games were the first Olympic Games I was selected for and it was always going to be tough but I prepared as well as I could and just gave 100pc.

We trained seven days a week, for three to six hours a day and we were just so focused and for many of us we knew this could be the only chance we'd have.


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I think the biggest thing I have taken away from the three Olympic Games I competed in was the amount of friends I made and still have today like Frankie Fredericks.

Another thing I have taken away is the special atmosphere the Olympics seems to have. You go out there and there are people who you don't know from Adam calling out your name and cheering you on and wanting you to do well.

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You know if you can't control that you will struggle because it is quite an overwhelming and emotional experience and scary as hell when you walk down the tunnel into a stadium which holds 100,000 people.

Looking ahead to the London 2012 games, I just hope the guys I coach do well. I hope that eight people from my team will make the games and I just want them to go out there and do well and come away with the same experience that I had or maybe even better.

Do I think the money spent on the games is worth it? Well, it's not for me to say. To be honest the athletes are just concerned about going out there and doing well in front of a home crowd. The only thing I would say is that I don't understand why it costs so much to bid for the Games.

My expectations for the British athletics team is just wanting the guys and the girls to do well and put in an overall performance that the British public will look back and say 'well it has cost us a lot of money and we may still be paying for the Games but at least we enjoyed it because our guys and girls did well'.

You know Britain expects but if you put too much expectation on people then that is too much pressure and I believe we shouldn't be judging our team on the amount of medals they win.

I know that is the ultimate judgement but we also have to look at people making the finals and people who go out there and put in life-time bests and don't get a medal.

For me I look at the future of British sprinting and times have changed. When I was competing, I was part of an era where we were doing really well and winning gold medals.

But now the kids are up against a lot of things like competition from more popular sports, computers and there are now a lot of games and exercise that have been banned in schools which don't help children develop.

The number one bit of advice I would give the children living in Norfolk is to just enjoy whatever they are doing because the more you have fun, the harder you work at something and the better you are going to get.

When you see kids having a go at something and they have a huge smile on their face – even if they finish last – it's a start and could be a huge stepping stone for them.

I hope the Games inspire the youngsters here to push themselves and try to get into the next Olympic Games.

As for the whole country, I think the biggest thing people can expect is the feelgood factor which will spread out from London to the rest of the country.

With Norfolk being so close, I hope people will get down to London and join in the festivities and make it one big party for two weeks.

For me I would've loved to have competed in the London Olympics but you know whether it's London or anywhere else in the world the athletes just want to go out there and perform well and it's just an added bonus that the Games are being held here.'

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