4 Things I Don’t Want to See at the Olympics (but probably will)
Let’s face it, everybody knows the Olympics are about sports you spend four years not caring about.
Whether it is a horse prancing around an abandoned gravel pit or a group of people waddling along for 50km like they are dying to take a Richard the Third, the games give us an excuse to become overnight experts and impress our friends with useless trivia about the wacky world of the five-ringed circus.
Because of this, ridiculing the Olympics for including rubbish sports would be like shooting synchronized swimmers in a barrel – far too easy and, admittedly, probably far too much fun.
It is important to realize though, the games don’t begin and end with what happens on the field. The whole shebang encompasses many elements of culture, celebration and entertainment, a lot of which end up overshadowing the actual events themselves.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that there is actually any sport being played at all (especially now that Channel Nine has the rights).
In recognition of this fact, here are four non sport-related things that I don’t want to see in London. But almost certainly will
4. Athletes on mobile phones at the opening and closing ceremonies
“Hey Mum, turn the telly on, I’m walking onto the stadium now! ….What am I wearing? Uh, green jacket and Dunlop Volleys…. Well I didn’t get to pick the uniform, did I?… Yeah I’m up the back somewhere… Nah a little to the left… No not him… Look behind Nick D’Arcy… Y’know, the douche in the gunstore… Ok back a bit further… Wait until Thorpey turns his head… That’s it! It’s me.
“Look, I’m waving now! I’m on TV! Hold on a sec, I’ve just got to snap off a photo and put it on my Facebook then update my twitter…”
3. The mascots
The mascots for the Sydney 2000 Olympics were Syd, Milly and Olly. They were a platypus, an echidna and a kookaburra.
Granted they were no Fatso the fat-arsed wombat, but they did their job well enough.
The mascots for the London 2012 Olympics are Wenlock and Mandeville. They are… um… ah…
Well who the bloody hell knows?
The official line is that the creatures are drops of molten steel from the last girder used to build the Olympic Stadium. A more popular train of thought is that they are the offspring off a H. P. Lovecraft fever-dream and something left over from a XXX-rated Doctor Who parody.
In addition to looking uglier than an English penalty shoot-out, the dubious duo are also ridiculously expensive, with appearance fees of £850 being charged to secure them at community events.
Presumably the bulk of the cash is going towards counselling the school children who are invited along to such engagements, or hiring Eric Bana to hunt down their creators so the story can be turned into a classy Steven Spielberg film.
2. “Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi!”
“Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi! Is a fantastic war-cry that beautifully sums up all the true meanings of what it is to be Australian, and never fails to make my spirit swell with a wondrous, profound sense of national pride” – a quote said by no-one.
Question: what is worse than seeing an American win a gold medal (apart from a sooky Leisel Jones article in Women’s Weekly when she wins silver medal number 37)?
Answer: watching an American win a gold medal, then flex their muscles, then get into a Tebow stance, then do three and a half cartwheels, then perform a fully-choreographed hip-hop dance routine.
At the risk of sounding like a wet blanket; showboating has no place at the Olympics. This isn’t the Superbowl. Win your race, wipe away a tear, collect your medal, lip-synch the anthem, thank God if you really feel it necessary and then leave.
No showboating. Even if you are not an American. Please. I’ve got 15 more events to watch tonight. Just don’t.
Anyone who is found guilty of such offences should be immediately stripped of their medal, and forced to spend the remainder of the tournament collecting urine samples from the Bulgarian women’s weight-lifting team.