As we reach the halfway point in the Olympics I have been asked for a few thoughts on the games. Of course I’m only interested in the jumping events and the swimming, although if anyone has any hot gossip from the Olympic village I’d love to hear it. So, with the Olympic spirit flowing freely and the world fascinated by the spectacle of men and women going faster, higher, and longer, here are Frankie’s thoughts.
The IOC is trumpeting this as the “year of the women”, the moment when they take centre stage in world sports. Well, at least for the next 10 days or so, after which they’ll be forgotten again, some returning to homes where they won’t be allowed out alone, drive a car, or date who they like. Even the 2012 superstars like Heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis can only dream of earning Beckham/Woods/Bolt/Murray megabucks.
Just look at all the medals being won by mixed-race/immigrant atheletes, marvellous examples for young people and positive proof that London 2012 is a disaster for racists everywhere. Just wait three weeks or so to see how long that feelgood factor will last when the competitors return home and the long hot summer bites in Detroit, Hackney, or Marseilles.
Samples from all competitors are being stored for eight years in the hope technological advances will catch them out further on down the line. Or maybe not. The bigger the star, the bigger the sponsors and the more tricky the lawyers, so expect contaminated, degraded or lost samples, and interminable legal wrangles.
The Great Farce of London
After issuing dire warnings about traffic and crowds Mayor Boris Johnson is now busily blaming anyone else for the deserted city centre where shops, taxis, hotels and restaurants are complaining of a catastrophic collapse in earnings. The bumbling blowhard may yet emerge strong enough to challenge David Cameron for the Tory party leadership, and thus become one of the leaders of the western world. Oh yes.
Carping about the Chinese will continue
They simply work harder and longer than anyone else in a Soviet-style system that is a production line for excellence, the antithesis of everyone else’s approach, which is why everybody hates it. The wonder is they actually lose anything they enter, and one dreads to think the loser’s fate when they return home. Do they use drugs? Who knows? Maybe all they need is ginseng and peasant’s blood.
What has happened to Germany?
After reunification it was expected they would challenge the US and China, but the penny’s dropped there that there’s more money to be earned in banking, business, and making things the world wants to buy rather than sport. It’s a similar story in Russia, except there the growth industries are organised crime and, er, organised crime.
Oh yes, and there’s the little matter of the rest of the news
There’s a virtual blackout of what else is happening around the world as the Olympics juggernaut rolls over everything in its path. Enjoying your sporting summer? Well, winter is coming…