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The question Olympics

The Olympics start next week. If you were going, what event would you ideally compete in and why?

In an ideal world I would compete in the rowing (coxless fours). It is an event that I believe embodies both team spirit and remarkable individual achievement, as in the case of Steve Redgrave. The four has a defined leader, guiding the pace and effort of the crew; leading by example. To do this the leader must know the personal traits of the crew in order to best achieve their common goal.

Teamwork is guided by strong belief in one another, with no focus on a culture of blame. Otherwise the recent fourth place at Lucerne might have distracted the crew from their hunt for Gold in Sydney.

Barry O'Driscoll, 29, senior engineer, Gloucester

As a keen footballer I would love to be good enough to play for my country on the Olympic stage.

However, I have always thought it a great shame that the UK does not combine the talents of the home countries to send a football team to the Olympics. Not that there is much talent outside of England other than Ryan Giggs, however painful that is to admit!

Jason Hibbert, 24, graduate engineer, south east

As a contractor I would of course want to be in on the race to finish the Olympic arenas. Of course I would be used to there being no gold or silver at the end of my Olympian feat and like all contractors I would do it just for the honour of turnover.

Julian Lord, 34, senior estimator, Bangkok

There is only one choice for me: sailing. It is probably the sport that has contributed most to my engineering and private life. I learnt to race in Botany Bay, Australia, in a lively two-man 12 footer, with spinnaker and trapeze.

The development of further skills and a touch of the Aussie competitive spirit ensured a hugely rewarding hobby throughout my career, with many engineering synergies.

Something else inspired me: the Sydney Opera House. The unique structure was being built at that time and a famous architect had to rely on British engineering skills to enable his sails to be constructed. I have heard that the same engineer has now taken the nautical theme to extremes by building a wave motion into its latest bridge structure for another famous architect.

Reginald Grimston, 63, project manager, Turkey

I feel there is only one event that is suitable for the civil engineer. This is explained in the sliding scale below.

100m Stockbrokers High flyers, great reward, burn out

200m Lawyers High status, high reward

400m Accountants Aura of necessity

1500m Doctors In the public eye, work hard, well known

Marathon Architects Get all the glory, claim to save the day

50km walk Civil engineers Longest and hardest training. Requires intense stamina but get little reward, least recognition and continue through all weathers! ! !

Simon Broom, 33, senior assistant engineer, Caerphilly

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