Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
“Try this for size,” said one of Team GB’s Olympic coaches, passing me a lycra suit and crash helmet.
I should have known better.
But I didn’t.
On a cold, wet morning in mid-January, I disappeared into the back of a shed and struggled into the ridiculously tight-fitting “onesie”.
What happened next may just have scarred me for life.
Coach Danny Holdcroft’s 5-minute master class in the finer points of Skeleton racing should have been enough to convince me to cut my losses and run.
But it wasn’t.
Dutifully, I bent down, drew a breath, grabbed the rails on the sled... and took off at a sprint, throwing myself face first onto my stomach. And closed my eyes!
I don’t really remember what happened next but I heard myself scream. It was all over in less than 15 seconds. I’d hit the buffers on at the end of the 100-meter track at a (slow) speed of 30kph and I’d lived to tell the tale.
Skeleton is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous sports in the Winter Olympics. At speeds of more than 100kph and stresses of up to 5g, athletes take on the track with no steering, no brakes and no protective shell around them.
Adrenalin pumping – yes.
Would I do it again? Probably not...
But what I can say with absolute certainty is that I'll be cheering on every single one of those athletes in Sochi who take on this crazy sport – from the comfort of my sofa, of course!
As Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are found guilty and sentenced (again) for the murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher, Max Foster takes a look at the events that led up to their convictions.
Raymone Bain, Michael Jackson's manager and spokesperson from 2001-2009, told Max Foster that Justin Bieber is a talented but bored young man who needs to be redirected.
"I think Justin Bieber, frankly, is a bit bored. He's accomplished a lot, there's a lot of money involved, he's able to come and go as he pleases, and I am not sure whether he listens to his management and his team of advisors or if he does not. But what I am suggesting he start doing is channelling that destructive behaviour into something that is more positive so that he can leave a legacy. He's extremely talented. He's extremely handsome. He has made a lot of money, and I don't think he should just rest in his laurels, I think that he needs to be as Michael Jackson. If he wants to emulate Michael he needs to begin to start laying the groundwork as to how he can be a trendsetter."
She does point out the apparent differences in work ethic between Jackson and Bieber. "Michael Jackson never hung out. Michael Jackson never had a large entourage like that. Michael Jackson never played. I remember in the seven years that I worked for him I suggested we go to a movie and he looked at me as if I were crazy. We went bowling one time when he took the kids. Michael Jackson was about business. He always wanted to be the best. He wanted to be the most successful. He wanted to break the records. He wanted to leave a legacy."
In the music business, the importance of good management cannot be overemphasized. "I think that his management have done a great job thus far but you know sometimes when you get on the level of Justin Bieber or Michael Jackson it gets a little bit more than one person can handle."
Jackson was surrounded by a team who supported him, but, as Bain asserts, he also encouraged them to tell him when he was wrong. "There is a misconception. Michael Jackson didn't like 'yes-men'. When we would sit at the table with him he would get angry when we did not tell him what we really thought, he really would."
While some of the world's major economies are finally beginning to recover from the after-effects of the financial crisis, there's a flip side to that positive news. Now, emerging markets are feeling the pressure.
Max Foster spoke to Marcelo Etchebarne from CEK Financial Group about the potential effects of a U.S. recovery on countries like Argentina.
Etchebarne said that while Argentina has its own, unique circumstances, like sky-high rates of inflation, it does feel the impact of what happens in the U.S.
"Argentina has its own problems," Etchebarne said. "But at this point in time, an increase in interest rates in the U.S. could be catastrophic in Argentina at some point during this year."
The Queen's reserves have dropped from $58 million in 2001 to just $1.6 million today.
Becky spoke to Kate Williams, royal historian, about partying in parliament, the Queen's boiler packing up, and the possibility of Buckingham Palace turning into an Australian youth hostel.