Ringing in the Games
Ringing in the Games

Researchers who study tinnitus can get the biggest field test in history at the London Olympics.

All they need to do is get themselves to the Olympic Stadium.

For those who don’t know, the basic explanation for tinnitus is that it is a ringing in the ears.

I’ve had it for years and I’ve never seen a more accurate description that this explanation.

People with tinnitus describe hearing different and sometimes variably changing sounds like ringing, hissing, static, crickets, screeching, sirens, whooshing, roaring, pulsing, ocean waves, buzzing, clicking, dial tones and even music.

Dismiss the dial tones, the music and the oceans waves. The rest is an absolute replica of the noise generated in the Olympic Stadium in London. Then multiply it by 100.

Noise has been a big component of the Games, especially at the velodrome and the stadium where the Poms have had much to cheer about.

I’ve never heard it louder in a stadium, though Kerryn McCann’s entrance into the refurbished MCG in March 2006 at the Commonwealth Games would run it close.

The lead changed in the marathon six times in the last two kilometres and the noise in the stadium was deafening when the Australian overtook Kenyan Hellen Cherono Koskei with 200 metres to go.

McCann was one of the bravest women that you’d ever meet. Less than two years after the Melbourne victory she succumbed to cancer, leaving a husband, Greg, and three kids.

Typically, home crowds go nuts at the Olympics. Not barmy nuts but just pleasantly mental. They yell and scream like they never thought they could.

The Brits have cheered loudest when one of their own is competing or about to win, but they haven’t been afraid to offer support to athletes of other countries.

For athletes who attract the most noise, Usain Bolt only gets the silver. British heptathlete Jessica Ennis, who caused the noise metre to go off the scale when she won gold, is a clear winner.

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