The Telegraph
Sunday , August 5 , 2012
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Royals give new meaning to ‘PDA’

(TOP) Catherine and William in a public display of affection or PDA at an Olympic event in London; Danny Boyle with his new love Rosario Dawson

Aug. 4: The use of acronyms has much wider currency in India than in Britain but two that have gained greater popularity because of the Olympics are “PDA” and “PB”.

PDA is “public display of affection” as practised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who tend to hug each other whenever Team GB does well. Their easy physical relationship has especially thrilled the American women TV anchors who have flooded into London for the Games.

They cannot believe how “normal” Kate and William are compared with other “prim” royals. Incidentally, Willliam and his brother Harry have given an interview in which they revealed they had absolutely no idea that their grandmother was going to act in a cameo role with James Bond — the most talked about sequence in the opening ceremony.

William admitted: “To be honest, we were kept completely in the dark about it, that’s how big the secret was.” Harry joked: “She did such a good performance that she has now been asked to star in the next Bond film.”

Coming back to the subject of acronyms, “PB” stands for “personal best” — something that Victoria Pendleton talked about after taking cycling gold for Britain yesterday.

When the Games are over, the table that really matters will be drawn up — who is up and who is down in the ranking for sex symbols. Pendleton, who was already high up after winning gold in Beijing, is now pretty much at the top.

She has posed as a cover girl, with her modesty strategically protected by a bike, but now she is dubbed “Queen Victoria” — and her earnings will rocket.

There is a big piece about her in one of the papers this morning — “in an utterly candid interview, Team GB’s most mercurial star reveals how her love for her coach cost him his job”. She broke Rule No. 1 — “Don’t sleep with your coach” — but this frisson of sex and sin may actually add to her market value.

Boyle’s belle

Danny Boyle has also been engaging in PDA, it is also revealed today. Although wallowing in the warm glow of favourable publicity after the opening ceremony, Boyle, 56, “has been sharing a tender kiss with a stunning actress 20 years his junior”, according to tabloid reports.

The object of his affection is not an ambitious Bollywood wannabe from Bigg Boss but Rosario Dawson, 33, star of the 2005 hit movie Sin City. Rosario, who stars in Boyle’s new film, Trance, a crime thriller, somehow managed to wangle a ticket to the opening ceremony.

Boyle has three children, Gabriel, Caitlin and Grace, by his ex-girlfriend, Gail Stevens, from whom he split in 2002 after 20 years together.

Boyle and his new love were photographed in Brighton, the seaside resort which has been used over the decades by couples not married to each other for away games.

Bolt from the blue

Today, being “Super Saturday”, the focus has been on Usain Bolt in the heats of the men’s 100 metres.

Will he win the final tomorrow — this, after all, is the highlight of the Games? Bolt won heat 3 with 10.08 secs, while his rival, Yohan Blake, also of Jamaica, won heat 4 with 10.00 secs.

“It was a bad start — I stumbled,” confessed Bolt, who has said he is only “95 per cent” fit. Many people in Britain and across the globe have hitched themselves emotionally to a Bolt win but will he be able to defend his title? The former American champion sprinter, Michael Johnson, who is working for the BBC, is not ruling out a Bolt win but he has prepared public opinion for what could be a shock result tomorrow. Bolt himself said: “We will see.”

Backing Britain

When the Games are over, it will be the proper occasion to analyse how India can go forward — and as Test captions say when they have lost by an innings, “there are a lot of positives India can take from 2012”. In the absence of Indian competitors, it is worth noting that most British Indians now find it easy to lend their heart to Team GB. This has come about through a process of evolution — in the past the natural instinct was to back any team that Britain.

Perhaps what people in India would find useful is a better understanding of just how much training and dedication lie behind an Olympic gold medal.

It is not something that happens without years and years of very hard work.

Today, Britain produced a sensational performance to beat Australia and win the men’s coxless fours. Andrew Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory led from start to finish.

Afterwards Hodge said something that people in India would do well to absorb.

The team had gone out every day, whatever the weather and the season, he stressed, adding: “It was just impeccable rowing. We executed our plan. It was our masterpiece. It took four years to make that. Four years training every day, pulling out everything we had.”