It’s brilliant when the Olympics are on, especially when they are “at home”. Every radio, TV and computer you pass has some event playing on it. You can linger and discuss the chances of teams. It’s always a conversation starter, “did you see the tennis final?” and so on. It really brings people of all nations together, especially in a cosmopolitan place like my work, and Cambridge in general. People talking about the respective merits of their country’s athletes, and what sports their country is strong at (Ethiopians for distance running, tier “high altitude training” is their lives XD).
It’s also a chance for more obscure sports to shine. Back in the good old days you had Grandstand on TV every week, showing the highlights from all kinds of sports – equestrian, shooting, diving, swimming… These days if you want to see them you have to pay for satellite and watch obscure channels, or else wait for the Olympics! At least in the Olympics the very best athletes are competing, sports you normally don’t give a crap about, like Basketball, become must-see events with nailbiting knockout rounds. It’s like the World or European cup on an immeasurably bigger scale, and for people who don’t like football, too!
Of course, the Olympics do have their detractors – the fucking reds. It’s hilariously ironic that this great event, which gets everybody talking about the same subject, causes people to walk with a spring in their step and which sparks off friendly conversations between people of all different nationalities is anathema to the Marx-lovers. They are always banging on about “uniting the people”, yet when something actually does all they can do is complain about “flag waving”, lament all the speed cameras and wet hostels the money could have been spent on, and start calling sport “simulated war”. They are out of touch, their ideology is a discredited anachronism. They have no answers.
I’ve not watched the opening ceremony yet, but by all accounts it was brilliant. Sensible people said it was brilliant, and reds said that it was a farce, a waste of money and that the tribute to the NHS was pathetic. One red of my acquaintance even went as far as saying that, instead of the NHS, they should have used something that “the British people are proud of”. Hilariously out of touch. A yank red then went on to say that a tribute to the NHS implied that Britain was the only country with ‘socialized medicare’. Hilariously out of touch. With recommendations like that, I can’t wait to iplayer it… as soon as I’ve finished backlogged blog entries, comic-making and sorting out my comic/book/horror film collection (again! more on that when it’s done).
Oh yeah, I still have plenty of actual sport to iplayer too. I watched the women’s 56kg weightlifting, and very good it was too. The German competitor was hilarious, she screamed as she lifted, then people started screaming back, so she played up to it XD. She couldn’t manage to lift her heaviest weight either, but took defeat in good grace. Oh and of course our own Zoe Smith set a new British record at only 18, one to watch in 2016! The other day I was lifting 25kg bags of dishwasher salt one at a time, staggering about with them, feeling like my arms were being ripped out. Puts things in perspective! I also started watching the lighter weight women’s weightlifting, because the eventual winner looked cwute. I also want to watch the women’s 10m air rifle, the first event for which a medal was awarded. And after that, I’ll catch up on the events of day 2… XD. I hope the BBC keeps their catchups online for a long time, or else releases a DVD box set.
One thing I wondered, though, is where the hell Rugby is? And Cricket… though there is an international competition going on at the moment. Mind you though, if you had Rugby you could make a case for American Football, which only the cheeseburger chuggers give a shit about, so they’d win it all the time. And if you had cricket, why not baseball, which only the cheeseburger chuggers and, er, sushi snackers(?) give a shit about, so they’d win it all the time.
But didn’t Olympics used to have “exhibition sports”? One ‘unique’ to the host country that other nationalities were welcomed to try? Surely for Britain Rugby or Cricket would have been ideal! Or, if not those, how about a knockout tournament of rowing eights on the Oxford / Cambridge course? I can understand them having the ‘proper’ races on a ‘fairer’ rectangular lake, but ‘not serious’ races on the Thames would give millions upon millions of people a chance to watch at least one event for free (the course goes for bloody miles). And of course how more “London” can you get than constant racing on the Thames for the duration of the games? Terrible missed opportunity, that.