Nude by Christmas

38 years old, 102kg. One of those numbers is about to change.

Archive for the tag “London 2012”

The Games are up! The five-ringed circus prepares to move on.

Every four years the rich and fat people of the world sit down to watch their champion athletes whip the arses of the poor and skinny countries. Collectively, they pour billions of dollars or dinas or drachma or dongs into programs that ensure their pre-pubescent synchronised divers will out spin and twist those of Sierra Leone or Equatorial Guinea. Their nations surf waves of jingoistic euphoria when their Ivy League college guys throw a flat plate or heavy ball further than anyone else, then reward them with an Abercrombie and Fitch contract and interview with Matt Lauer.

The poor and skinny countries get patronised over the line by the (sponsor’s) beer swilling public, holding their plastic cup in one hand and filming each touching moment with an iphone in their other. Anthems get compared (“Oh that’s a nice song”), tears get measured, athletes get judged by whether or not they sing the words or put their hand on their heart or even bothered to brush their hair. Silver medallists are judged on their demeanor, bronze medallists are lauded for ‘beaming at just picking up a medal’, and the golden girl or boy atop the podium can look forward to a life of hero status, interrupted only by the publishing of photos of them in flagrante delicto with someone else’s husband or wife (or both) when they no longer have the body of Adonis or the face of Helen of Troy.

The host city packs up its banners, downs a Berocca and processes the asylum seeking long-distance runners fleeing a war lord made famous on YouTube, then gets on with the business of going broke and trying to stay relevant as the five ringed circus moves on to the next contaminated landfill site in need of urban renewal. Meanwhile, the government of the day has pushed through all its most contentious legislation, while its people were watching ping pong, and the corporate fat cats have signed their deals, flogged their newest phone or burger or pair of shoes to the bemused fatties in the stadia, and the sweaty ones at home, whose skin is now almost one with their leather arm chair.

The poor skinny athletes go back to their poor skinny countries, their Soviet era apartments, their barbed-wire compounds on the outskirts of the world’s fastest growing metropolises. The ones from larger, communist states get medals of honour, allotments of land or have their families imprisoned, depending on how they did. The really lucky ones will find a talent scout from a formerly-reputable university (now fighting allegations it turned its back on ‘inappropriate behaviour’ by coaches) on their doorsteps offering a scholarship – with citizenship thrown in on completion of a BA in nothing much more than yours or mine is.

The committee that runs the circus will retreat to their manors and tax havens with the wives and girlfriends they picked up at the equestrian competition, or who danced in their lap in Mayfair as they slipped their nation’s GDP into a fraying g-string. They will meet again in a year or so to decide where next they would like to holiday in four year’s time after enjoying the sophistication of the Big Smoke and the sun-burnt bums and precision waxing of Rio.

I can’t believe that we have to wait four more years for it all to come around again.

All this excitement, and the trampolining hasn’t even started yet

If the brand nazis at the IOC could see my eyes right now, I’d be thrown in the Tower of London, not to be released until Zara Phillips won gold in Rio. And that’s a big ‘if’. The rings around my eyes from staying up late watching this damned sports carnival are of Olympic proportions. My part of the world is 7 hours ahead of London, so when the interesting evening sessions are getting started in Stratford, witches are gathering for their covens here.

It’s ridiculous really. I’m watching handball. Water polo. Synchronised diving, for f*ck’s sake. I’m getting all jittery and excited when someone from Turkey is shooting clay pigeons. I’m commenting on the South Korean women’s archery outfit, umpiring the basketball from my armchair, wincing at the whacks when a gymnast nose plants on the tumbling mat and… well, no, I draw the line at watching soccer.

Meanwhile, at my own gym, I’m struggling to run 5km, lift a few measly kilograms, and last a full hour on the floor sweating my chubby little butt off. All while I’m glued to the Sony widescreen soaking up the wonder of the swimmers’ bodies, and wishing I looked like one of those divers, so the ladies – maybe even a chap or two – would swoon as I wandered past on the deck of the pool.

Fat chance right now. Fit chance coming soon.

These folks I’m watching play badminton, table tennis, or canoe down a man-made concrete river are the best in the world at what they do. Kudos to them. They should be bloody proud of themselves just for getting there.

Ping pong, pony rides and pool play

It’s hard not to look down your nose at the XXX Olympics. Yes, XXX. 30th Summer Games. But they’re not really using that moniker this time around. Usually the pompous inbreds at the IOC love to bandy around Roman numerals. Not this time. XXX is unwelcome by the uptight poms. I haven’t done it yet myself, but I suspect if you Google “XXX Olympics”, you’re going to see a different kind of javelin.

Last night I found myself watching a bow and arrow competition between a bunch of pretty girls that looked as though they would have settled for a Hello Kitty pencil case for winning, ahead of a gold medal. They had cute up-turned hats, pretty outfits, cracking smiles and dainty, flitty way of floating around their archery pitch. Field? Court? What is is that you arch on? The dreamy, lovely girls, in the glow of the London afternoon sun, seemed to be enjoying a winsome moment, without a quarrel or a quiver in sight. Except both.

I flicked a thousand or so channels up to find the grand-daughter of a queen, riding a pony through the wood in a royal park on the outskirts of the city. Thousands had gathered to cheer the blue-blood as she bolted around, jumping Lego houses and bails of hay, as quickly as she could. Sure, there is skill involved – but if a princess can do it, then surely, it’s just about having the spare time up your sleeve for practice (Royals have an extraordinary amount of spare time up their ruffled silk sleeves).

Across on channel 483 a couple of plump lads, straight from the pub, were smashing it out on the ping pong table. We used to have one in our garage, and would organise tournaments with all the kids in the neighbourhood over the summer holidays. One kid, from a couple of houses down, was particularly talent, and barely lost a game all summer. He could top spin, back spin, smash, lob – you name it. If only he had gone on with it, he could have found himself up against the best in the world, rallying for a gold medal at the XXX Olympics. If only. Instead he became an Oncologist. Fail.

The girls and guys that jump in the pool are fun to watch. Pretty, too. We used to jump off high things, like they do, into the river down near my old school. We’d climb a gum tree, shuffle out to the farthest limb, spin out a summersault or two (backwards, even, if you truly lost your grip), then plummet into the murky water below, holding your nose so you wouldn’t get meningitis. The big difference between us and the 14 year olds launching from the rafters of the London aquatic centre is… we tried to make a splash. As big as possible. If you didn’t make a splash, you were a miserable failure. If there were gold medals to be had back then, you’d stand no chance if you didn’t step out of the water with an arse as red as Ken Livingstone, or a belly flopped as much as Fosbury. Puh… no splash. Who do these divers think they are?

I can’t wait to see what’s on tonight.

I’m rooting for China

Australians would get it.

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