Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic idea(l)s

New Zealand's oarsmen have snagged three gold medals in London. It was especially pleasing to see Mahé Drysdale win. He was physically sick with nerves the morning of the race. You could see how much it meant to him.

I enjoyed the knowledgeable commentary for the swimming. Compared to the rowers, the swimmers have it easy. With all the combinations of strokes and distances, if they have a bad day in the 200m backstroke, they can try again in the 400m freestyle. As someone said after the Beijing games, if there were forwards, backwards, sideways and on-one-leg running races, Usain Bolt probably would have matched Michael Phelps' eight golds. As for Usain Bolt, I didn't realise he was so damn tall.

The hosts look like they're heading for an embarrassment of silverware. And goldware. I remember Chris Boardman's win in the pursuit cycling in Barcelona, thinking it was marvellous that Britain got a gold. Now they're the undisputed kings on two wheels, having even produced a Tour de France winner.

A couple of other things:
Medal is not a verb. "She medalled in the 200 fly" debases the huge achievement of winning an Olympic medal.
The medal table itself is kind of bollocks. According to the table a gold is worth infinitely many silver; you only have to watch the reactions of silver and bronze medallists to see that's clearly not the case. Being second or third fastest/strongest/most accurate in the world is pretty damn good. If you must have a table at all, I'd use a 4-2-1 system (four points for gold, two for silver, one for bronze). But all the table really shows is that countries with lots of people and who spend lots of money on sport tend to win lots of medals.

I'm going to the autism group tomorrow for the first time in six weeks, and will be seeing the new Batman movie with the same bunch of people on Tuesday.

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