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So am I the only one NOT watching the Olympic Games? Every time I turn on the television, some steroidal imbecile in speedos seems to be jumping into a pool, or somebody is screaming ‘Gold! Gold! Gold for Australia!” in the 50-metres tandem dressage or something. I mean, ‘shuttlecock’ is a funny word, but funny enough to qualify as an Olympic event? Next thing we know, golf will be an Olympic event! Ha! That would be just ridiculous, right? Other than perving at girls’ sandy bums, WTF beach volleyball?  And ‘Hey! Let’s hurry home or we’ll miss the men’s trampolining final!” said no-one, ever.

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What does the International Olympic Committee need to do to grab my attention? for starters, underwater swimming, a former Olympic event, is overdue for a comeback. What could be more entertaining that watching people swimming, like, underwater! It makes all those above-water hijinks seems a bit piss-weak, don’t you think? The IOC could easily spice things up just by merging the duller Olympic sports: rhythmic gymnastics and steeplechase, for example. Or judo and soccer. Who wouldn’t watch Brazil v Honduras go the knuckle if they threw in a tidy uchi mata makikomi or two? I also think they need to introduce some new Olympic sports — Spanish baby-jumping, for starters. Line up the babies of all the stupid Christians in the world, then get some paedophile dressed as the Devil to long-jump them all to cleanse them of their ‘original sin’. I’d pay to see that.

But no. Instead of novelty we get endless replays of cyclists going round and round and round, and bloody round again.  Swimmers going back and forth, up and down the same bloody pool.  Sailboats out on the water, their crews’ arms and legs going everywhere, very busy and all, but for what?  Now, ferret-legging, there’s a competition I understand. Dwarf-tossing probably wouldn’t survive the current pc nanny-state environment. Toe-wrestling could scarcely be stupider than synchronised swimming, FFS. Cane-toad racing for the Aussies. Cheese-rolling for the Poms. Bog-snorkelling for the– well no, that’s just a plain stupid idea.

At the end of the day, though, isn’t the problem that there already too much sport? I come from a country where two cockroaches climbing up the wall will attract a bet. For a fortnight every two years, I avoid catching a taxi, standing in a public queue, or meeting the eye of strangers, because inevitably it will trigger a “how good was Kimmy Brennan’s gold in the sculls!” conversation, and the subsequent awkward silence from yours truly. But, somehow, explaining that I can’t get all emotionally invested in activities played by other people isn’t as easy as it should be. Nobody’s listening, for starters. They’re all too busy, reinforcing to their kids that being fast is better than being smart. We have Olympics for disabled athletes: where’s an Olympiad for smart people?

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I hope the answer is more complicated than the above, otherwise fairly gratuitous picture of Allison Stokke (US pole vaulter and model).  Allison, for example, will sell more product for Nike than, say, Demis Hassabis (British artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist, computer game designer, entrepreneur, and chess champion). Please don’t tell me the world is this shallow! The one thing that lets me breathe again and not curl up in a whimpering ball of despair are persistent surveys that suggest as much as half the male population of Western countries are as uninterested in sports as I am. Please jebus let it be so!  Maybe there’s hope for us yet. Let the others run and jump and kick and throw, so that the rest of us can think.

After all, the world needs ditch-diggers too.