CHELSEA 2012: MICHAEL ESSIEN
London's big 17 days draw ever closer and in the week the torch route was revealed to be passing close to the club's training ground, Michael Essien is the latest to answer our Olympic questionnaire…
Michael, what are your earliest Olympic memories?
To be honest I don't have any early memories of it. The people in Ghana do think the Olympics are a big event but I didn't really follow it when I was growing up. Football was the sport I was interested in. I never got the chance to be in the Olympic football team for Ghana.
Are you interested in the 2012 Olympics?
Actually I am really looking forward to it. I think it is going to be exciting and everyone in London is looking forward to it and it is going to be a good one. We all can't wait. I would love to see the sprint events - 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay.
Who is your favourite ever Olympian?
As I said, I like the sprint events and my favourite Olympian is Michael Johnson, although he ran best in the longer sprint events. I used to like him a lot, he was a fantastic runner.
Who will do well from your part of the world?
Looking at the whole of Africa, athletes from east Africa have a great record in the long-distance running. In Ghana, Margaret Simpson who does the heptathlon is one of our best athletes. (Note: she won a bronze medal at the Manchester Commonwealth Games).
What do you think of the Olympic stadium?
I have not seen it yet. I only know that West Ham may be moving there.
How will London fare as a host city?
It will be a very good host because London is one of the biggest places in Europe.
What would your event be?
Ping pong because I am not bad at ping pong.
What if you had to do a triathlon?
100 metres, volleyball and cycling. I cycle to the training ground sometimes.
Who would be in your Chelsea 4x100m relay team?
Anelka, Bosingwa, me of course and Sturridge.