Inside Lines: Twickers in new twist as Woodward confirms Olympic role

"I am 100 per cent going to be around in 2012. I always was," Sir Clive Woodward assured us last week, confirming – as first revealed here – he would be staying with the British Olympic Association and not returning to rugby.

He certainly seems to have doused himself in Olympic spirit, clearly relishing motivating Team GB's biggest-ever platoon of 550 athletes and, he hopes, installing some of the discipline he brought to the England rugby team with his 15-point best behavioural charter.

Sounds good, but sources close to Twickers suggest that once the direly dysfunctional RFU have stopped their internal rucking and mauling Woodward could still be on their radar, as chief executive rather than performance director after the departure of John Steele, so could the opportunity of running the whole show be the offer he can't refuse? Unlikely, but in sport these days you learn never to say never.

Sending the wrong signal

It was unfortunate that on the day the BOA chose to announce impressive support plans for GB's 2012 competitors and their super-duper hospitality base in the new £1.45bn Westfield Stratford City complex overlooking the Olympic Park, the Jubilee Line was hit by a massive signal failure, causing almost everyone to arrive late.

"Don't worry," declared the BOA's ever-sanguine communications chief Darryl Seibel. "It won't happen during the Games. We're certain of that." Want to bet?

A cruel sporting world

By a tragic coincidence, three of the nicest people in sport suffered the loss of their fathers to cancer on the same day last week.

The estimable Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, who had given a masterclass in PR on a visit to London on Monday, were suddenly summoned back to Ukraine where their 64-year-old father, also named Wladimir, died on Wednesday. A former Soviet Air Force colonel who helped clean up after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, he had watched his younger son's victory over David Haye from a hospital bed in Hamburg before being moved to his home in Kiev.

On Tuesday we chatted at the BOA gathering to Britain's charming star of the taekwondo mat, Sarah Stevenson, who has twice ventured into the sport's Korean backyard and come away with world titles. Obviously anxious, she explained that her father Roy was poorly. The next day he died at home in Doncaster from a brain tumour aged 63. This was first diagnosed in April, shortly after Sarah's mother had been told she has terminal cancer.

It is less than two months since teenage diver Tom Daley's father Rob lost his own five-year battle with brain cancer, aged just 40. The Klitschkos, Stevenson and Daley are luminaries who brighten the sporting world; sadly, for them it is now rather a cruel one.

The red van man

Charles van Commenee is the track and field marshall of the 52-strong foreign legion of Team GB coaches we listed last week, and the most prominent among those promoting "plastic Brits", athletes from overseas who switch nationalities to compete for Team GB at the expense of home-grown talent.

It is a philosophy to which the hard man from Amsterdam adheres despite fierce criticism, as he explained to the Sports Journalists Association last week.

"If they knock on our door and say 'I have a British passport, I can run this fast and jump this far', then we'll select them. End of story. That's the rule. And I abide by the rules like I stop at red traffic lights." Obviously a man for plain English rather than double Dutch.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering