MEXICAN MEMOIRS: The good things about Guadalajara
Elton Tucker, Sports Editor
Buenos días amigos.
I have now decided that I will not write anything negative about my hosts for the rest of my sojourn here. There are a lot of positive things and you will read all about them.
Despite all problems I have already mentioned, my Mexican friends have generally been courteous to me at the Main Press Centre (MPC) and at the hotel.
Let's start with downtown. It's very clean and the roads, from what I have seen, are well maintained. No potholes, even on the side streets. The people are generally quiet in going about their business - no loud shouting or bad behaviour on the streets. No young men loitering on corners or 'loadermen' at the bus terminus.
Taxi men, despite all the faults I have already mentioned, obey road rules and park in designated areas. Other drivers do very much the same and, even in peak traffic, generally remain in their lanes and give the proper signals.
Maybe it is just for the Games but security is 'Rambo-style', submachine guns and all. The police here, especially the Federal Policia, do not look like people you joke with when they give an order. Just ask the drivers on roads around Games venues where the police have strict orders to keep these roadways clear and are here, there and everywhere.
Throughout the day at the MPC, the federal police are ever present in full gear with their assault weapons in hand and black, shiny F150s parked nearby. I do not like to see many guns around me but, maybe, considering certain circumstances mainly in northern Mexico, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Last, I must say that as a veteran journalist I have learnt that it is best, sometimes, to keep your feelings to yourself. Keep an open mind, just report things as you see them. However, I am human and really felt the pain of swimmer Alia Atkinson when she lost out on a medal in the 100m metres breaststroke on Monday night. The always-happy and easy-going 22-year-old who I have known since the 2004 Athens Olympics was a picture of sadness after the event. She did speak to the press, but her voice told you she just wanted to be alone.