Olympics II

August 21, 2008

So I’m not watching. I’m not. Honestly.

But when did synchronised swimming become an Olympic sport for crying out loud?

I’m sorry but that is not a sport and shouldn’t be at the Olympics. It’s entertaining, in its own way, but it is not a sport.

What next? Marching teams?

Slackers has a lovely story about the cycling event, the madison. Who knew?!

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The Olympics

August 18, 2008

Despite my self induced boycott of the Chinese Games (that and I’m no sports fan AND it’s on in the middle of the night) I have caught the Olympic Spirit.

Favourite moments so far: Mahe puking his guts and then going on the radio to say he now knows his physical limit is a lot higher than he thought and he can really push things now (way to go with the positive key message and I’m glad I don’t have to race against him in anything).

I missed the trampolining, which is a shame because I do like a good bounce. Instead I watched the synchronised diving which is … odd. And oddly fascinating. The two Chinese guys looked like clones. The two Russian guys looked like robots. The two British guys looked like Morcombe and Wise.

For some reason after the women’s synchronised diving they film the girls taking a shower. They’re still in their swim suits, but there’s something very … voyeuristic about it.

I watched all the footage of Big Foot winning every single swim meet, and was duly impressed (or dully, depends on where you put the emphasis), but my favourite win so far is the 100m men’s sprint, won by that mad Jamaican who stopped pushing it about 30m out and coasted (COASTED) to a world record run. Simply astonishing.

Read this story for a real taste of the Olympics. All politics aside.

I’m amazed by this story on the BBC today. The ramifications are immense.

Firstly, we have a “disabled” man, Oscar Pistorius (who has no legs), being told he can’t run in the Olympics 400m sprint.

Well, duh, I hear you say. He’s disabled. Of course he can’t.

The reason is, his prosthetic limbs are so good they give him an advantage over the “normal” athletes. He uses 25% less energy to run at the same speed.

That is so cool it makes my teeth ache.

It really does go to the heart of the whole “drugs in sport” debate as well I think. I’m opposed to letting athletes take drugs to perform better if only because I think of it as a kind of cheating. Sure, different shoes, different clothes, different training regimes all offer different athletes a different set of tools to work with, but none of those (I don’t think) will actually damage their bodies, while drug taking seems to do just that.

The athletes are supposed to be the best physical specimen they can be and taking drugs, to my way of thinking, breaks that rule.

Does that mean if an athlete starts taking a drug that doesn’t cause long-term damage then it would be OK? I don’t know. Mine is not a well thought out theory.

Can we now consign “disabled” to the linguistic scrap heap?