Football Ends, Now the Olympics

Posted on July 2, 2012

Now that the football is over we can all turn our attention to the much anticipated 2012 London Olympics, an event that is yet to reach out and grab my imagination, but I know it will, and as always, there will be some event which I didn’t even know existed, where I will screaming at the TV at any sniff of team GB success. If we had a bespectacled geek fighting for the Tiddlywinks gold medal versus an American, I would be leaping around the house shouting “C’monnnn you can beat this yank twat.” I’m afraid, Heaven help me, that is just the way I am, I can’t help it. I am not the only one, I can remember a friend of mine (Stewart) telling me a great story about his Dad (Terry) nearly kicking a hole in his TV when Britain were getting taken apart by the Dutch in European ‘It’s a Knockout.’

When I was out with Diane at a barbecue on Saturday evening, the conversation drifted onto the subject of the Olympics, what we might win, the most ludicrous events and at what point an individual concludes that they might one day be an Olympic gold medallist in the pole vault, an event that not only baffles me, but also looks incredibly dangerous. I just know that if were a pole vaulter, my first ‘successful’ jump would result in me timing it just right for the pole to go up my anus through my throat and out of my mouth, leaving me on the mat resembling a pig on a spit roast. Other bizarre events that were bought up in conversation were the hammer, synchronised swimming, sailing and the walking marathon, something that looks like a gay rights march on fast forward.

Of course, the sailing is an event that we always do well in, presumably because we are an island surrounded by rough water and that we have enough wealthy people who can afford to fuck about in a dinghy all day long rather than going to work. I wouldn’t mind that at all if only I could work out what on earth was going out there. As I said before, I’ll cheer anyone along if I can see where the finishing line is, but these lot just seem to bob around for several hours before the commentator shouts out…”AND BEN AINSLEY HAS GOT IT..IT’S GOLD AGAIN.” Call me Mr Picky, but it’s not quite the same as watching Coe versus Ovett in the 1500 metres, not unless you are called Horatio or Quentin.

The one sport that will always baffle me the most is the walking race. At what point did a parent say to his child….”I reckon, looking at the way you walk, you could be in the Olympics one day son. Come on, put that football away, let’s get down the track for some practice.” However, once that decision has been taken, I guess the route to the Olympics is quite a straightforward one, as the competition is likely to be quite scarce. Unlike football, millions of children don’t have the aspiration to be an Olympic walker do they? I have met plenty of kids who want to be footballers or cricket players; I am yet to meet one who wants to walk his way to international glory. Perhaps I am mixing in the wrong company.

I have never met an Olympic walking judge either, it is another profession that has passed me by….perhaps I wasn’t listening to my careers advisor properly. At what point the foot lifts to a level where the athlete is perceived to be running I am not sure, but I seem to remember a race with the commentator getting rather hysterical about a walker ‘losing contact’ when in sight of the finishing line and getting disqualified. It must take huge amounts of concentration, because if I was walking towards a finish line after a 50km slog and someone overtook me, instinct would make me run to avoid defeat. With that in mind, it is probably a good thing that I did not take up walking as a sport.

So once it gets here I will enjoy it, if we can’t win in the athletics there will be some event, somewhere, when I will get really excited and become a big lover of that sport, if only for a day, it may be rowing, it may be swimming, it may even be hockey, an event that despite providing one of my great Olympic moments in 1988, I haven’t watched since. It was GB versus the might of West Germany and when we scored the winning goal, Barry Davies came out with a piece of classic commentary that he had been saving up all his life, preferably for a football match, but hockey would have to do. Anyone remember it? It was….

“Where were the Germans…….quite frankly, who cares…..”

I will leave you with woman’s walking race that took place on Saturday evening, Diane didn’t win, which was a huge disappointment, and though she thought it was quite funny, I didn’t, she let me down in all aspects of the race.

2 Replies to "Football Ends, Now the Olympics"

  • jimmy
    July 2, 2012 (11:37 pm)

    its all about the effort.

  • Klanger
    July 3, 2012 (12:55 pm)

    Made me laugh out loud! At least Di got a silver!

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