Category Archives: Gonzoid Olympics

Mohamed we adore you

Olympic Rant #18 On the fourteenth day God resumed work

THE squabbles and rancour of this year’s Ilympics were run into the ground on Day 14 as Great Britain, Jamaica and the United States turned in memorable performances.
Britain’s Mohamed Farah was stunning as he held off Ethiopia and Kenya to take gold in the 5000m.

Mohamed Farah

I usually cheer for the African nations in middle distance events as I love their team strategy in running. But my hat and running shoes go off to Mohamed Farahwho won his second gold medal of London 2012 with a thrilling victory in the 5000 metres on the final night of athletics.
Farah was denied any hope of assistance from GB team mate Nick McCormick who failed to make the final.
Here were the other things stacked against Farrah:
# He admitted to tiredness after his win the 10,000m seven days earlier
# He ran 3rd in his heat.
# He was ranked 11th in the world and was competing against seven of those rated above him.
Farah took the front with 700m to go but had little peace. American Galen Rupp sprinted quickly but could not cross the Brit.
Sensing the American might have weakened the leade,r the Africans queued up to have a crack at Farah. He repelled each one and kicked on the home turn.
The fastest runner over the distance this year was Dejen Gebremeskel and he made his move, looking to have Farah’s measure half-way down the straight.
The Brit kicked again and safely held the Ethiopian for a magnificent courageous victory.
             Farah said each of his twin girls due to be born shortly would have a Gold Medal from the London Games. They will be the heroes of show and tell in a few years, especially if Dad is part of the presentation.
USAIN Bolt took his third Gold when Jamaica raced to a world record in the 4x100m relay.
Bolt was a little less certain that Rio 2016 might be beyond him than he was after his 200m win.
I’ve thought about it but I think it’s going to be very hard because Yohan (Blake), he’s just come into the game and he’s running pretty well, and I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more cats coming up to run.
I’ll take it a step at a time.
THE U.S. captured the women’s 4x400m relay and Allyson Felix achieved her third gold medal.
Felix ran the second leg after a brilliant start by DeeDee Trotter gave her a big lead at the first change. American 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross ran the anchor leg and the U.S. won in 3:16.87 – the fastest time run in 19 years.
 Russia was three seconds behind Jamaica took the bronze.
Russia had its revenge when Anna Chicherova won the women’s high jump ahead of American Brigetta Barrett. Another Russian Svetlana Shkolina was third.

           The Chinese are yet to get the knack of track and field and the Americans comfortably were ahead in the medal count in gold and total.

Leaders after Day 14
Description: https://ssl.gstatic.com/onebox/sports/olympics/medal_gold.gif
Description: https://ssl.gstatic.com/onebox/sports/olympics/medal_silver.gif
Description: https://ssl.gstatic.com/onebox/sports/olympics/medal_bronze.gif
Total
1
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
44
29
29
102
2
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
38
27
22
87
3
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
28
15
19
62
4
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
21
25
32
78
5
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
13
7
7
27
6
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
11
19
14
44
7
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
10
11
12
33
8
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
8
7
8
23
9
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
8
4
5
17
10
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
7
16
12
35
11
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
6
14
17
37
12
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
6
6
8
20
13
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
6
4
10
14
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
5
4
9
18
15
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
5
3
5
13
16
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
4
5
3
12
17
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
4
4
4
12
18
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
4
3
5
12
19
Description: https://www.google.com/images/spreadsheets/trans.gif
4
2
6
AT Beijing 2008, the count was
Rank
Country
1
36
38
36
110
2
51
21
28
100
3
23
21
28
72
4
19
13
15
47
China’s fall in medals and CB’s rise tell us that in any sporting contest, home field advantage is real.
So let’s hear the Unofficial Official GB London Games Anthem. Take it away one more time.
Bernie Dowling, August 12, 2012

Daily Mail arrives every 24 hours

Olympic Rant #15 The Mailman delivers
OLYMPIC coverage by the U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail is ranging from traditional adolescent-male nonsense to the downright weird. Extremely talented GB cyclist Victoria Pendleton is physically attractive and this has not passed across the Mail eagle eyes without notice.
The Mail loves pedalling Vicky

Condoms in the athlete’s village were gold for newspapers throughout the world but the Mail brought to the yarn its personal touch – horny adolescent male meets Monty Python.
The story should have been a few pars in length: 150, 000 complimentary condoms are available to 10,000 athletes. But of course, the Mail banged on and on, mainly in pics but with a few choice words, with the stamina born of erecting thousands of innuendoes to their mastheads.
The oh, oh, Ohhh-lympics! As record 150,000 condoms are handed out to a host of super-attractive athletes, could London 2012 be the raunchiest games ever?
·                     Athletes will receive 15 condoms each for the 17-day festival
·                     Victoria Pendleton among the glamorous female stars offered condoms
            
 
The phenomenal outpouring of prophylactics means there will be 50 per cent more available to athletes in London than the 100,000 handed out at the last Olympics in Beijing in 2008.
                     
The Mail loves to re-work information already supplied as simple equations such as 150,000 is 50 per cent more than 100,000. It certainly pads out the story and maybe, for some readers, adds gravitas.
On the internet edition of the paper we next have two sexy pictures of Ms Pendleton and four pictures of coloured condoms. 
Then more basic maths which readers apparently cannot get enough of: 
   It works out at nearly 15 each for the 10,500 competitors taking part in the Games, with Durex ready to deliver more if the sports stars exhaust their ration.   
                                                                                                                                                         
A bit of an interview with an athlete describing randiness in the village. 
Then another sexy image of Victoria Pendleton, this time in evening wear beside with a cycle. The caption reads: Racy: Sprint cyclist Victoria Pendleton is one of the most glamorous of the British athletes. She has even posed nude in the past.
Now a photo of cyclist Jess Varnish  beside pic #4 of Pendleton.  This time the caption is: Bicycle babes: Cyclist Jess Varnish said she would pose naked if she was as glamorous as her gold medal champion colleague Victoria Pendleton, right.
A barrage of photos from various sports including what look like two young-teenage synchronised swimmers and a playful photo of two young women which the Mail tagged: Intimate: Jenna Randall, 22, right, tweeted a photo of herself sitting by the pool, with her legs wrapped around teammate Katie Skelton, left.
The readers have not seen any numbers for a while so the next photo is captioned: Splashing: Team GB divers Tonia Couch, left, and Tom Daley, right, are dating. Perhaps they will make use of the 30 condoms they’ll have between them.
Four buff lads attract the caption: Macho: Australian male swimmers Eamon Sullivan, James Roberts, James Magnussen and Matt Targett on Manley beach in Sydney.
How ironic the macho men from the Mail spelt Manly Beach wrongly.
Four Swedish athletes would be the appropriate way to finish this fantastic report and the Mail does not disappoint. Caption: A recipe for romance: The Swedish women’s swimming team will be staying in the same block as Team GB footballers. Let’s hope they all behave themselves.
That was good light-hearted entertainment if you ignore the sinister overtones.
But let’s move on…to Victoria Pendleton.

             

Victoria Pendleton rode tearfully into the sunset last night with her dream of a golden goodbye indelibly tainted by a final clash with her biggest rival. 
                                                                                                                                 
From the first par, the reader can sense a poetic effort rising from the Mail
She failed to trounce her Australian arch enemy Anna Meares – a win that would finally have laid to rest the controversy, competition and cat-fighting between them.
                                                                                                                                                            
Ah, cat-fighting the last of the three Cs.

she was beaten to gold in the next race by a powerhouse performance from the 28-year-old Australian.
Whatever the result, the crowd still adored Vicky, Vicky, Vicky!
                                                                                                                               
And so to the big finish
This was Last Night of the Velodrome, a Land of Hope and Glory for the people and one last hurrah for Queen Victoria.
                                                                
An Australian ran first against Vicky, Vicky, Vicky but Britain did dominate the cycling. The Velodrome had morphed into a Jewel in the Crown of Empire. Well I’ll be a Dutchman. 

The Mail totally lost it in the euphoria of counting almost 40 GB medals before the Games were half over.
I have the feeling this report must go down in the history books of journalism. I am just not sure why.
Here is an edited version because the whole is too much.

Kings (and queens) of the sitting-down sports:

Two thirds of first 37 medals came from ‘sitting down sports

With gold medal contenders including Victoria Pendleton and Chris Hoy still to make individual quests for glory, Team GB could well be on for its best Games performance in 100 years. 
        

There’s Queen Vic again.

Statistics revealed that of Team GB’s first 37 medals, 66 per cent were in sitting down sports.

Star performances in equestrian, sailing, rowing and cycling have all contributed to Team GB’s impressive third place standing in the overall medals table.
By contrast, the two leading nations, China and the USA, both excel in non-sitting down sports.
At the same stage the two nations had over 121 medals – with a sitting down element of just 7 per cent.
                     
Has anyone out there a clue WTF the Mail is on about?
                                            
Got to be good readin’ because it’s so hard to see.

Bernie Dowling, August 8, 2012.

Winners and sinners

Olympic Rant #15 Third-rate Stuporpowers declare war

THE rivalry for Olympic medals between Great Britain and Australia is difficult to understand if you are not from one of the two countries. It is impossible for the surprisingly large number of Americans who think Australia is a European country near Germany.
Jessica Ennis helps GB leap over Oz
Australia which is my home country was invaded by England in the 18th century to establish a penal colony. Much if not all of the lingering hostility of a nation of guards versus a country of prisoners is a concoction of the countries’ respective media (many owned in the same interests) and is fought over sport.
The most genteel of the British media refers to Australians as colonials when an insult is required. The more brash English papers call us convicts.
In Australia the war is fanned by our media reprising an insult by an English tabloid, preferably on its front page.

For variety, Aussie media relished the rather restrained earlier front page from the Sun: Wanted. Gold Medal. Australia’s Sydney Morning Heralddecided that headline was a screamer but it was tepid because Sun journos knew the gold medals would come for Britain.
Hell, even the Mad Mayor of London went out on a wire to declare Britain could win more medals than Australia. In what passes for a pep talk in Tory circles, Boris Johnson told British athletes before a pool lap had been swum in anger, ‘Can we beat Australia? Yes, I think we can.’
You can see how classical studies have sharpened Johnson’s analytical mind to allow him to predict the host nation would accumulate more goodies than a team of athletes which had travelled across the entire world to compete.
Still it was relief for both countries to win their first individual gold. It seems individual gold is worth more than a team one. That’s capitalism for you.
The feats of both medal winners were insipring.
British heptathlete Jessica Ennis was robbed of a chance for Gold at Beijing 2008 by injury.
By contrast, Australian laser sailor Tom Slingsby went into the Beijing Games as world champion. He finished 22nd at the Chinese Games.
Another contrast was the relative celebrations. In typical Aussie style, Slingsby went to the pub with family and friends.
Ennis and cycling gold medallist Bradley Wiggins were special guests at a boutique gig by the Stone Roses. Led Zep’s Jimmy Page was in the audience.
Wiggins even got to party with legendary British muso Paul Weller formerly of The Jam, The Style Council and individual projects. Who knew Wiggins wore an mp3 player when he won the Gold?
Let’s all share in the great win by Ennis by playing the Officially Unofficial Great Britain National Games Anthem. 

And let us not forget the phony enemy. Here is the Aussie Games Anthem:
While we are in the mood for congratulations, let us hand out to three outstanding achievements. First Officially Designated Naughty Nation Iran collected its first ever Olympic Gold in Greco-Roman wrassling through Hamid Soryan’s gold in the 55-kilogram class. Iran had collected a swag of Olympic medal in freestyle wrassling but none in Greco-Roman. On Monday, Omid Noroozi made it a double for Iran with   the gold in men’s 60-kilogram Greco-Roman wrassling at the London Olympics. Reports by Tea Party members that Iran wrasslers threatened their opponents with nuclear weapons proved unfounded.
Kirani James, 19, of Grenada won the Olympic 400m in 43.94sec. He is the first athlete from outside the USA to break the 44-second barrier. His gold was also Grenada’s first ever Olympic medal. 
Pavlos Kontides won Cyprus’s first medal at an Olympics when he took the silver on Monday in sailing`s Laser class.
Bernie Dowling, August 7, 2008

Mad Mayor forgets it is all Greek

Olympic Rant #2: The London Games Anthem

WE all might worry about the London Lord Mayor’s insistence on an Olympic anthem in the style of an ancient Greek ode if we did not know Boris Johnson is a total loop-de-loop.

Johnson delivered his first over-the-top serving of a  of a Pindaric Ode for the London Games  — in ancient Greek, no less — at an Olympic shebang at the Royal Opera House  in Covent Garden on Monday night.

Pindar was an ancient Greek lyric poet who dished out Olympic victory odes.

An early Pindaric effort set the theme: ‘Let us not proclaim any contest greater than Olympia. From there glorious song enfolds the wisdom of poets.’

Conservative Johnson and I have little in common but we do make a living through the use of words.

The Mayor moonlights as a columnist for The Daily Telegraph. I am moonlighting, after my day job as a reporter, on these election rants from the edge of the city and the jaws of hell.

In a July 2009 interview Johnson referred to his Tele salary as “chicken-feed’’. His poultry payment each year was 250,000 GBP. That is 320,000 euro, 387, 000 USD and 376, 000 AUD.

In 2009, in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis, Boris Johnson, future Olympic Hero, declared such sums chicken feed.

For these rants I receive 0 GBP, 0 euro, 0 ISD and 0 AUD and I have a retired racing pigeon to feed. Several months back, the pigeon landed on our back veranda, with indecipherable plastic identification tags on its lower legs and sought asylum from competitive sports. Racing pigeons – even retired ones – do not live on chicken feed. Compounding the expense, the bird, having shunned competition, now allows, without any fuss, wild birds to share its food, my food, actually.

At first I thought the pigeon – which we named Pigeon, with Birdie as its nickname – had turned Buddhist. I was quickly disabused of this notion when I brought home a copy of one of the two newspapers from which I earn my living. I started to read the paper when Pigeon viciously clawed the open pages with both feet. I looked down to see Birdie’s food bowl was empty. Pigeon has done a similar thing on other occasions when I read one of our papers. It is official: I am working for pigeon feed.

I am not saying I am as good a journo as Boris Johnson but I wish I had lucked into his lark of Pindaric verse rather than sharing his unruly hairstyle.

What I have in common with Johnson are  journalism and unruly hair.

The Opera House punters broke into rapturous applause when Johnson spruiked in ancient Greek accompanied by English translation on computerised screens. The neo-ode starts

This new Olympic flame behold,
that once burned bright in Greece of old;
with happy hearts receive once more
these Games revived on London's shore.

Who knew you could garner kudos from doggerel if you tied it to the classics. Me, I am more into the Clash than the classics and every daughter and son of Heroic London must join me there. The Clash provides the English National Games Anthem.

Whenever an English athlete wins a medal, the anthem must be played. Tech-heads will synchronise it with their internet coverage of the Games. I am hoping the most sophisticated will be able to tap into that other British antthem and replace it after a couple of bars. God Save the Queen is fine for hundreds of other occasions but the London Olympics 2012 deserve something special.

London becomes the first city to host three Olympic Games. I am hoping the head of the IOC will introduce London 2012 as the Greedy Games in honour of the thousands of cities which have never hosted one. I suspect it will not happen so I will have to be content with the special games anthem.

 Little Known Olympic Fact #1

The first Asian Summer Olympic Games were to be held in Tokyo in 1940.

They were called off because the world was at war.

Norwegian athlete William Risterspyd and his supporters declared the Tokyo Games should go ahead with the neutral countries competing.

The authorities quickly decided this proposal was absurd but the stubborn. Risterspyd, a discus thrower, was adamant. He and his supporters set up a tent in Helsinki’s Market Square for the entire period the Tokyo Summer Games were scheduled for. It did not matter that it was winter in Norway.

Every few hours, Risterspyd supporters cleared people from the centre of the squares so the athlete could show off his discus prowess.

A jubilant Risterspyd linked his protest to the Summer Games when he gave a press conference to international reporters who flocked to the square on the third day of the protest.

‘Now is the winter of our discustent made glorious summer,’ he said.

Bernie Dowling, July 24, 2012.

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