London 2012: Britain's First Gold Winners Enjoy Tabloid Treatment
LONDON – The British tabloids trumpeted the U.K.'s first gold medals as only they can as the U.K. woke up Thursday expecting more from Team Great Britain at the Summer Games here on day six of the Olympic competitions.
The Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International, led the triumphalism, with the screaming headline "Gooooooooooold!" alongside a picture of cycling gold medalist Bradley Wiggins perched on a throne seat outside Hampton Court Palace where his time trial road race on Wednesday ended.
Also on the front page was a picture of rowers Heather Stanning and Helen Glover who earlier in the day had won Britain's first Olympic golds of the Games so far, ending a four-day draught.
Murdoch's arch rival tabloid, The Mirror, harked back to the tabloid tradition of puns with a picture of the cyclist and a friend in a bar Wednesday evening under the headline "Bradley Swiggins! Cycling hero heads out on the lash." The cyclist, who is now the odds on favorite to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year after his back-to-back Olympic and Tour de France successes, was pictured celebrating in true British style with a few drinks on a night out.
The Express newspaper heralded the gold medal success by including another British obsession: the weather. The paper's web site carried a story under the headline: "Nice One Sun, For Flying Bradley Wiggins."
The Express wrote: "Wiggins began the day with a gentle dig at the British weather as rain clouds gathered over Hampton Court. He ended it bathed in sunshine, basking in the glow of a grateful nation."
The Daily Mail led with a much more sobering approach after news reports emerged that a 28-year-old man had died in a fatal collision with an official London 2012 media bus hours after Wiggins pedaled his way into the history books. The Mail's story concentrated on Wiggins' calll for a massive road safety overhaul - including a call for helmet requirements - as details of the man's tragic death emerged.
The bus driver, in his sixties, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and was last night in custody at an east London police station.