The IAAF World Championships has just taken place, and ten days of track and field athletics came to an end on Sunday evening, with the medal ceremonies including the relay medals which brought Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s tally to six.
There was a farewell to Mo Farah, who retires from the track in Birmingham next week, and who gained a Gold for the 5k and a Silver for the 10k at the Worlds; and a final farewell to Usain Bolt, who retires from sprinting and athletics generally after dominating the short distances for a decade: the Worlds were not that kind to him, though, with a Bronze for his 100m and cramp stopping Jamaica finishing the 3 x 100m relay on Saturday night.
But, the star of the show for me has been this little chap:
This is Hero the Hedgehog, created as part of a Blue Peter competition, and made into a personality by the team at Curiosity360. Who is inside the costume we may never know, but s/he proved to be an expert gymnast, acrobat, clown, and comedian, as well as having a subversive side to their personality which caused amusing mayhem throughout the week.
Hero’s interventions included using the steeplechase water jump as a spot to watch the pole vault from a pink flamingo inflatable, ending an Irish Guards fanfare with a tambourine flourish, tumbling down the concrete steps, riding a bike, making sandcastles in the long jump pit, hanging out his washing between the high jump poles, and on the final night, entering the stadium from up high on a zip wire and finishing his performance (as that it was it was) with a dive into the steeplechase water after tormenting a couple of officials by spraying one with water and knocking the hat off another.
Here are links to my videos from that final night. First, the well-earned medal ceremony for the Best Mascot ever, and the ‘Anthem of Hero the Hedgehog’ plus a montage of his highlights; then his final dive. Enjoy, and Hero, we hope to see you again very soon.