Olympic report: day 6

Weightlifting might be the dirtiest sport in the world.

OK, that might be a bit speculative, and is based solely on one very brief clip on the BBC website which featured charming terminology about a weightlifter’s snatch, and the quality of his jerking.

Innuendo? In your endo!

I’m sure if I watched some actual coverage of the Olympics this would be a more informative blog, and I wouldn’t resort to wild assertions about the relative filth of the events. But I’m not paying any attention to actual sports. It’s not deliberate, and I’m not avoiding it to make a point – it just never occurs to me to watch a sporting event or read the back pages of a newspaper. It holds my attention like a collander holds water: very briefly, and with a lot of dribbling.

Yesterday, encouraged by my girlfriend, I broke away from eating a potato long enough to see my first footage of an Olympic sport: the last 1000 meters of the women’s “riding a bike down the street”, or whatever they call it to make it sound less like something every 4-year-old can do. And you know what my thoughts were?

  1. I wonder how many insects the cyclists have stuck in their teeth?
  2. Wouldn’t the whole thing be easier if they had Sturmey Archer gears on their bikes? I had those when I was a kid, and shifting into 7th made it so easy to bomb it round to Denton Woods.

(I should avoid using terms like “bomb it” when blogging about the Olympics. There’s probably a whole division of MI6 devoted to threatening bloggers. For the avoidance of doubt, when I say “bomb it” I simply mean “travel very quickly”. Please don’t send me to Guantanamo.)

Anyway, I’m sure there’s some reason why gears aren’t allowed in the Olympics, but I’m finding it more interesting to avoid actual knowledge and just guess what’s happening. I once watched some Australian Rules Football without knowing any of the rules (or any Australians) and it was temporarily brilliant. It looked like a riot, and I don’t mean that in the sense of “oh, last night was such fun, it was an absolute riot“. I mean it looked like an actual riot was taking place. I half-expected somebody to be bottled or set on fire.

But by the end of the match I’d inadvertently figured out what the hell was going on, the game looked less chaotic, and I lost interest. I just don’t think I like organised things, be they religions, sports, clubs, gangs, lynch mobs or orgies.

The same thing happened when I accidentally caught a bit of Ski Cross a few years ago (which I’m disappointed to find out is a Winter Olympic event, so I’ve got to wait 2 more years for it to be on TV again). I worked out the rules of Ski Cross eventually, although not before I’d seen about 70% of the competitors hospitalised, and some of them destroyed by a vet in an act of mercy. But for once, knowing what was going on didn’t stop me from enjoying it, because the rules of Ski Cross appear to be “travel at 120mph on a plank of wood, and attempt to break your opponent’s pelvis”. What’s not to love?

Sport should be dangerous. The Olympics were invented as a way to train young men for war, and I’d enjoy it more if there was a greater risk of disembowelment, or if they made the archers, the sprinters and the javelineers (is that a word?) compete in the same field at the same time. Maybe with blindfolds.

Actually, I’m thinking of It’s A Knockout, aren’t I?

A horsewoman with airbags under her clothes

But even the dangerous sports are addled with health and safety. In one of the million sports they’ve invented to show how good posh people are at being transported around by a horse, somebody fell off today and her airbag went off. She had an airbag under her clothes.

An airbag.

Why not make the horses compete on a giant bouncy-castle, and have done with it?

Have you noticed that about the Olympics, by the way: whenever it’s an event that demands expensive equipment, aristocratic bearing or membership of an exclusive club, there are 500 versions of it so that everybody with a double-barrel surname has a fair chance of getting a medal. There just is one type of 100 meter sprint, but a dozens of small variations on fucking about in a boat or wearing expensive clothes whilst sitting on a horse.

And what’s more, I’m reliably informed that they lube up the horse’s legs. What the hell are they planning to do with that horse? Is Catherine the Great competing?!

Actually, Catherine the Great didn’t fuck that horse, she just had a stroke.

That’s not a joke, even though it sounds like one. Catherine the Great had a stroke and died in bed, and not a single act of bestiality was involved in her demise. It’s one of the many bits of pointless trivia that occupy the place in my brain where football knowledge exists in a real man. You see, in the proper man 43% of the brain is occupied with sporting trivia; but my brain is 43% empty, so my head makes a really satisfying echoing noise when you hit it with a spoon. I’d know more about sport if I found any of it interesting, but I find the following things more fascinating:

  • Going through my toolbox and sorting all the loose screws into size order
  • Taking down all the venetian blinds in my flat and individually washing and drying each slat
  • Picking fluff out of my navel and keeping it in colour-coded jars
This is NOT my collection of bellybutton fluff. Mine is much more colourful.

Of course, there are alternative candidates for “most vulgar sport” (did you forget that I was talking about the positvely disgusting sport of weightlifting. I know, I tend to wander off-topic quite a lot).

Snooker might be dirtier, because it’s very common to hear about people being unable to get their leg over, so using their left hand instead. There are regular kisses on the pink, and sometimes on the brown. People play with a lot of screw in almost every frame, and are known to stroke their cue, which is surely an offence if you do it in public.

But snooker isn’t an Olympic sport, mainly because it’s not a sport. I don’t know much, but I do know you don’t wear a bow-tie and patent-leather shoes in a sport. Snooker might be a pastime, but I have my doubts. To me, it’s a zen activity which only exists so I have something marginally less dull than wallpaper to watch on hung-over Sunday afternoons. So we’re left with the proposition that weightlifting is the gold-medal-winning smuttiest sport.

Not that I’d tell any participants that, not even Yun Chol Om, and he’s only 4’11” and is therefore the type of person I regularly pushed over or chased around the schoolyard with some snot on my finger when I was younger. But in his case he’d be safe from bullies, because what we have here is someone the size of a hobbit lifting a something the weight of a brown bear over his head.

Part of me wonders if he was 6’3″ when he started weightlifting, and I can’t help but ponder whether he’s ever lifted something so heavy that he did a poo. But even so, I am impressed with his enormous strength, and it’s enough to make me respect his snatch and greatly admire his jerking.

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3 thoughts on “Olympic report: day 6

    1. It’s better than that – you used to be able to get an Olympic Gold Medal in town planning. It was obviously scrapped once the IOC had seen Milton Keynes.

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