My friend Lisa told me that all female cyclists have to have hairy fannies. I’m not sure if it is true, I’m not 100% sure why she told me but I am sure that she knew how to get me interested in the Olympics.
As the sun sets over the Copacabana and the GB athletes fly home triumphant in their gold nosed plane, it is time to look back at the Olympics and ask ‘what was all that about?’
When BBC Breakfast announced that they were moving studios especially for the Olympics, you knew it was going to be big. The fact that it looked just the same apart from a mildly different colour scheme was irrelevant, it had been rebranded as ‘Olympic Breakfast’. Despite threats that the IOC would shoot you for merely saying ‘Olympics’ without paying them a fee, everything for the next fortnight was going to be Olympian. The news, the papers, my blog, even my daily dump had the five multi coloured rings.
Now we can reflect on the glory, the pain and the anger of Daily Mail readers.
You’d think that Team GB’s best ever performance would put the Great back in Great Britain but not in Daily Mail world. Leaving aside the Muslim immigrant called Mohammed, the sight of two young men, hugging in their Speedos after winning gold stirred something in the Mail readers. Stirrings that had lain dormant for some time, stirrings that they hoped never to have to acknowledge again, stirrings that no amount of sidebars of bikini clad girls could stir up.
If it wasn’t bad enough having to confront these unwanted thoughts, heads exploded into cornflakes all over the country when they discovered that a married couple were part of the gold winning women’s hockey team. ‘Is it a mixed team?’, ‘Which one’s the husband?’ and ‘Who does the dishes?’ were all questions racing through their empty heads.
Thank God some old white bloke on a horse won something, there would have been an uprising otherwise.
I’m not going to list all of the medal winners, quite frankly I can’t be arsed and I suspect the information is available elsewhere. Instead I’ll furnish you with little known facts.
Did you know for instance that I was pivotal in Australia’s success in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics? In the days before everybody had the internet and before most Aussies had TV, I was responsible for delivering the overnight results to the people of Sydney. They would gather outside of the department store I worked in and wait for me to switch on the bank of televisions in the window and put one TV onto the relevant Teletext page (young readers can find out about Teletext on the History Channel). As all of the TV’s worked off the same remote, trying to only put Teletext on only one screen earned me my very own Olympic Torch.
Twenty years on and I am back, delivering the Olympics to the world.
Probably the medal winner I most associate with is Ireland’s Michael Conlan who won Gold in the synchronised swearing by calling the judges “Fucking cheats” live on air and following up with “I don’t care if I’m cursing on live TV.” Something we can all aspire to.
Usain Bolt won all the headlines and rightly so following his cheeky smile to the camera whilst cruising to victory. As impressive as that was, I can’t help but feel let down that he didn’t complete the move with a double thumbs up whilst crossing the finishing line. People have paid good money to watch this, is it too much to ask that you put a bit effort in?
Great Britain dominated the cycling and questions were raised by other nations as to how we achieved that. The answer is simple, we were the only country who bothered to learn the absolutely bonkers rule book. The rules this year were dreamt up by five pissed blokes and a tired toddler. Who was responsible for the Tropical Lady Jungle ruling remains unclear.
Spare a thought for young Tom Daley (below), darling of the Daily Mail until he came out, who was expected to clear up but had to settle for bronze in the pairs. Still a great achievement but he failed to recapture his Aston Villa form.
All in all I think we can all agree that the Olympics has been a great success and, Mr Angry from Tunbridge Wells aside, we have come together as a nation to celebrate.
I will leave you with one final thought. Whilst we have all been distracted by the Olympics, the news has been dominated by it and there has been blanket coverage on our screens, did you know that Theresa May has been eating a baby a day outside of 10 Downing Street and not one of you has noticed?