Wednesday, 15 August 2012

London 2012 Olympics: Finally Over

‘Until yesterday I wasn’t much fussed about the Olympics. But when I watched Andy Murray win the gold medal, something changed; I found myself suddenly welling up with tears. I felt quite patriotic,’ the woman said. ‘Do you know what I mean?’ I didn’t, but I nodded nevertheless. ‘I can’t now wait to watch the athletics,’ the woman (weighing 15 stones) announced, taking a hearty bite of her cheese mayonnaise sandwich. ‘I am going to watch them waving Union Jack.’ She smiled, revealing rows of dirty horse-teeth.

I have met many people like this woman in the last two weeks who were suddenly brimming with pride and patriotism because Great Britain has won record number of gold medals (still comfortably less than China and USA, though) in I-can’t-believe-are called-sport.

They parked their two ton arses on the sofas and, stuffing their faces with Ben and Jerry, shouted themselves hoarse as some delinquent looking female boxer beat her Chinese opponent in the flyweight boxing final. The hysterical commentator shouted that she would now become the face of the British boxing (not a very pretty face if you ask me). She has apparently created history; she is the first British woman boxer to win a medal at the Olympics. Is she the first medal winner or the first gold medal winner? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I am not interested. Female boxing? Give me a f**king break.

I don’t like sport. I hate exercise of any kind. Whenever I get an urge to exercise I lie down; always works.

I have a particular problem with the Olympics because it is full of non-sport events. Such as dressage. What in the name of Buddha is dressage? According to International Equestrian Federation, it is ‘the highest expression of horse training’ where ‘the horse and the rider are expected to perform, from memory, a series of pre-determined movements.’ And a British woman (who looked as handsome as her horse) won gold in this sporting (!) event. It is a bit like getting an award for being the tallest Munchkin in the Munchkin country.

Can somebody explain why running is called sport? Running is OK if, I don’t know, you are a dog, or are caught shop-lifting, or are a middle-aged fitness freak who goes running round the block every morning parading his (or her) flabby thighs. What is not OK is to call it a sport. What does it matter if someone runs 100 meter distance in 9.64 seconds or 9.57 seconds? I watched (purely by accident) the 100 meters final. After the event (which finished in 9.64—or was it 9.57?—seconds) the winner went round the stadium buzzing like a scalded flea. You felt like telling him, ‘Dude, calm down now. We know you run fast; you haven’t found a cure for bloody cancer.’ The guy was so cartoonish, he couldn’t be real. May be I am missing something here, but what exactly is there to enjoy watching grown men running as if someone had inserted lighted dynamites up their bums? Or watching cadaveric women run and jump over hurdles, then run some more, and jump over some more hurdles. You would be hard pressed to think of anything more ridiculous (other than perhaps triple jump or pole vault or a long jump).

Take weight-lifting. Why would anybody want to watch men and women who look like they gobble steroid tablets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, trying to lift ridiculously heavy weights? Invitation to hernia, or a prolapsed colon, or a burst artery, if you ask me. What exactly is being tested here? The strength? The stamina? I’ll tell you: how stupid you have to be to part with your cash to watch this rubbish.

I have no problem if someone wants to chuck discs in his back-garden (as long as they do not come crashing through the window of my house). But to call it sport? You’ve got to be kidding. What does it mean when someone is crowned in the Olympics as the best disc thrower in the world? How many people in the world are throwing discs? Is the winner really the best disc thrower in the whole world, or is he the ‘best’ amongst a handful of sad blokes (mostly Eastern Europeans, Germans and Russians I should guess) who have wasted the last 4 years of their lives trying to find out how far they can throw a f**king disc? 

Can anything be more pointless than cycling unless you get your rocks off watching anorexic-looking men in skin-tight lycra, parading bulges in front of their thighs, going round and round for ages? Or men who look as though they breathe through their mouths row boats as if escaping from Alkatraz? Do it if you want to stay fit and think you could do with exercise. Doesn’t do anybody any harm, I suppose, and if it makes you feel better about yourself, go ahead. But it is no more a sport than those bizarre events listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The little bit of Athletics I watched, the commentators talked like they had taken the long distance correspondence course from Mumbai that promises to make you an expert (in a month) in speaking (the most stilted and clichéd) English. The dude who won the 100 meters running also won the 200 meters running finals. The BBC commentator screamed: ‘We can’t call him the greatest as that title has already been taken’; then, in case the listeners were not clever enough appreciate his clever remark, clarified: ‘Mohammad Ali.’ (The dude himself wasted no time in declaring himself a ‘living legend’ and got very cross when some windbag from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) insisted that he (i.e. the runner) was not yet a living legend. ‘What else do I need to do to prove myself a legend?’ asked the dude. Well, he can do whatever he thinks he has to do to become extremely famous. That, I think, will qualify him—or anyone else who has an interest in becoming a living legend—to become a living legend. Maybe this chap is a living legend in the community of 100 meter runners; he is certainly a legend in his own mind.) When a British runner (no doubt unexpectedly) won a race, probably 800 meters, ahead of Ethiopians, the commentator shouted, ‘Now we have shown the Africans how it is done.’  . . . Er, the winner looked like African to me: British by nationality, but clearly African by descent.

The BBC expert commentators for athletics were Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson—Brits—and Michael Johnson, an American. (The anchor was John Inverdale who looks like a slimeball; keep your daughters away from him). Denise Lewis, I think, won an Olympic medal years ago and has been dining out on it ever since (I won’t be surprised if she has also received an OBE or an MBE for her services to the sport).  Johnson, too, I think, has won Olympic medals (I am going to make a wild guess, here—in running). Lewis and Jackson, surely, are the goofiest people dropped on this earth by the Almighty. They jumped, giggled, got very excited over nothing, gushed at everything, and a six-year old would have had more depth to his comments than these two had. The American, Johnson, by contrast, looked as if he had come straight from his mother’s funeral. He made serious observations about gangliness of runners’ legs. Must say Johnson came as a welcome relief from the British comedy duo.

I did not watch the opening ceremony as I was out of country at the time. A friend, who watched, told me that they wheeled out NHS nurses for a dance during the opening ceremony. That is British irony for you. The filthy Tories are doing to the NHS what Dr Bashar Al-Asad is doing to Syrian people, and in the Olympics we are parading it as a great British institution. (As an aside, shouldn’t these nurses have been changing bed clothes, cleaning bed-pans or whatever it is that people in caring professions do, instead of dancing at the Olympics?) The British actor, who plays James Bond, skydived into the stadium along with the queen, in pre-recorded film footage. So that was what Britain had to show the world as her heritage. A fictional character whose films are produced these days entirely by American money, and a health service that is melting down faster than ice in Sahara.

I didn’t watch the closing ceremony either, preferring to watch, instead, a taped cookery programme currently being aired on channel 4, called Simply Italian, fronted by a gorgeous Italian named Michela (and graced, from time to time, by her equally gorgeous sisters; as Michela and Emi sucked their gnocchi, smiling seductively at the camera, I wanted to suck their gnocchi too). I read in the Guardian that everyone from Rolling Stones to David Bowie turned down the organizers’ offer to sign of the closing ceremony and they ended up with Take That and Spice Girls. An appropriate ending.

The 25 or however many gold medals that Britain won at the Olympics are a bit like British monarchy. What’s the bloody point? I doubt whether anyone will remember the names of all these gold medal winners, or, for that matter, the categories in which they won them. What difference are these medals going to make to the lives of most people? I read in papers that people in Sheffield were ‘dizzy with delight’ because some woman from that city won a medal at the Olympics. Sheffield is a piss-poor city with more people on dole than in Soviet era Hungary. These ne’er-do-wells might get dizzy with delight, but they are still going to be piss-poor and unemployed, seeing as the economy is going down the toilet.

I read on the BBC news that after the ‘disaster’ of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (where Britain won a solitary gold medal) there has been massive investment in sport amounting to almost a billion pounds over the last 16 years. Since 2008 £ 265 million have been invested. This is also a period when Britain and Europe are in the midst of the worst recession since Black Death. The Bank of England has reduced the growth forecast to 0. The country is securely in the grip of double-dip recession. The imports in the last quarter exceeded exports by several billions, and economy is shrinking. But not to worry; we have won gold medals in cycling and dressage in the Olympics. Everything is shipshape.