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Captain Ennis hopes to be poetry in motion

8 years ago606 views



Jessica Ennis has revealed that Linford Christie has attempted to inspire Britain's athletes to European Championship glory - by reading his own poetry.

Ennis is the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team captain in Barcelona and was therefore called upon to make a speech at the team's Aviva-funded training camp in Portugal this week.

But the world heptathlon champion was thoroughly upstaged by Christie - who won the Olympic 100 metres title in the same stadium in Barcelona - reading two poems, one he had written himself, in Monte Gordo.

"Linford said a few words and read a poem. It was inspiring. He wrote his own poem - I hope I don't get in trouble for telling you this - and then read another poem by someone else." Ennis revealed.

The second poem Christie read was 'Desiderata' by Max Ehrmann, which features the line "Many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself."

Christie, who is at the training camp as a personal coach to the likes of Mark Lewis-Francis, Conrad Williams and Laura Turner, was one of two British Olympic champions in Barcelona in 1992, Sally Gunnell also claiming gold in the 400m hurdles.

Eighteen years later, Ennis is the best bet for gold in the European Championships, although the 24-year-old will not quite be able to lead by example with the heptathlon taking place next Friday and Saturday.

"It's actually quite nice to be captain, it's new for me, it's a bit different," the Sheffield athlete added. "We've always had a tradition of having a captain, it's really just to be there if anyone needs any extra support or help, it brings the team together."

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