Wednesday, 1 August 2012

My Olympic Dream ....



I have, after a few days of watching the BBC Olympic London 2012 coverage, a dream...

And not the one about John McEnroe, me and an inappropriately large blancmange. No, not that one
.
THIS dream is the one where we, the people ... the ones sat at home on the sofa with a bucket of tea, a crate of biscuits and a skipful of gin.....AND the ones on the even plusher sofa  at the BBC (their skipful of gin tastefully off screen) just agree not to care about the medal thing. At all.

At the end of day four, we'd won a not entirely whopping four medals, two silver and two bronze. We are it appears, collectively, as a nation disappointed by this. Which is weird because I'm admiring some awesome achievements and couldn't give two actual hoots about our "medal tally" to be honest.

We, by which, I mostly mean "They" (or The Media) have not been what I would consider entirely behind our Olympians. 'They" don't give a stuff how many hours of serious biscuit eating have been lost in the pursuit of  an Olympic dream. Ha, let's put the boot in, "They" think when someone's Olympic dream is shattered because "They" are ALWAYS bastards.

Zara Philips overcame the multiple handicaps of being royal, being one of the few royal offspring with passions beyond her boundaries and having the entire nation ready to shout "Off with her head" if she put a hoof wrong, to be part of a silver medal winning Equestrian team.

That her horse had a poo at the start of her round and was clearly still, metaphorically, pulling his trousers up when he faltered was not mentioned. Zara forbore to blame the horse and she was sorry that the team might have been in with the chance of a gold medal but for her ride.

Reality check, the team WON a silver medal, they didn't LOSE the gold. And I'm just guessing that they don't generally spend a lot of time sitting at home on the sofa pretending to be disappointed about it afterwards either.

Likewise Rebecca Adlington, swimmer and English. This Olympics she has won the bronze, a slightly less shiny medal than the two golds she won at the Beijing Olympics. This is seen as defeat, her medal isn't gold and is therefore forever destined to be the embarrassing one she leaves at the bottom of her jewellery box.

Cyclist Mark Cavendish was expected to win the road race. He didn't and we are stunned that he is beaten despite the fact it was *sigh* a RACE and clearly other people might just want to win it too.

Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield. Fourth in diving? Well, we're just not satisfied by that are we? We shuffle just a little more comfortably into those special sofa grooves and feel let down. Some of us (but not me) even turned downright nasty. There was a virtual kerfuffle and an arrest. What I'd LIKE to happen now is the "troll" who complained at, insulted and threatened Tom Daley be made to to dive off a 10m board until he gets a perfect score. If he thinks he can do any better, he should prove it. But I bet he can't, and he won't.

Through all this, the BBC coverage is aiding and abetting this apparently national belief that if our competitors (we each get a part share of every competitor, heart and soul, for the duration of the games or something) don't win their performances, they are worth jack and, well, shit. Silver is second best and not nearly winning. Third? You might as well give up and go home. Fourth? Shut the door on the way out, please.

The BBC presenter Gaby Logan is probably a very nice person usually. One can only assume that she is being held at BBC Olympic Centre against her will and has been induced into such a state of high Olympic frenzy, that she's become totally focused on the medal haul, constantly apologising for the British competitors who don't get into the top three.

And it's a communicable disease, BBC commentators and interviewers are at it too. A hopeful judo medalist lost. He was obviously upset, he'd spent a quarter of a century working towards that point and he'd lost. But being devastated was not enough for the interviewer whose questions eventually made the gruff Judo bloke break down in tears and apologise to everyone he knew for letting them down. I hope someone was waiting off camera to give him a big hug and tell him he'd done his best, I really do.

Today (Wednesday) and, phew, we have won some gold medals. Well, I say we. I mean the country's sports-people who have worked tirelessly, with focus and intent for four years to be at the peak of their achievement during these few days of Olympic fervour, have won themselves a gold medal. They deserve their glory, every single inch of it...

..And we don't even deserve to sit in the light reflected from those shiny medals until we start to recognise it really isn't all about the winning, it truly is about the taking part.

Hurrah for ALL The Olympians 2012.

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