Raphael went to the Village with a brand-new penknife because, he said, he genuinely meant to do some damage to his bedpost. I thought it was a miracle that it got through security but, he said, you could basically get away with anything as long as you weren’t doping. He said it wouldn’t be surprising if someone smuggled hGH inside a bag of Jamaica’s finest. The security teams would wave it through as a matter of “cultural sensitivity”. I think he was half-joking.
Athens, Raphael said, had been positively Bacchic. His thighs had burned more from the parties than from his actual event. But then, he’d had a gold. “Silver gets you into the parties, my boy,” he slapped me on the shoulder, “but Gold gets you into the back room.” This was why he’d been training harder than ever. This was why he carried the knife.
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