Category Archives: Olympics 2012

Pirates steal sport

Olympic Rant #17 IOC what you are up to

Pirates of the High-O Sea

REDCLIFFE Musical Theatre rendered the Gilbert & Sullivan musical The Pirates of Penzance as if it were carried on an invigorating ocean breeze.
The large cast of many ages was obviously having fun and it was contagious for the audience.
Pirates, along with The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore, is the most popular of the 14 collaborations of Gilbert and Sullivan.
Although the play is often called a comic opera, it is far more accessible to a general audience than continental opera which Gilbert and Sullivan sent up.
Gilbert and Sullivan were English and their Shakespearean heritage shines through plentiful plays on words, accompanied by musical spoofs.
Directing duo Madeleine Johns and Gordon Ball work seamlessly with choreographer Meredith Johns and musical director Sheree Drummond to create a delightful musical comedy.
Each act was rendered virtually without set changes with actors hiding behind parts of the set and, to much amusement, plant foliage.
Female lead Annika Hinricks as Mabel was in fine voice and readily accepted the challenge of the occasional musical trick in the play.
Her love interest Frederic was played by Jonathon Sweeper whose clear vocals and expressive visage carried the part well.
Thomas Armstong-Robley stole the show with his Deppesque movements as the sometimes ruthless, sometimes befuddled Pirate King.
Barry Haworth brought out the full humour embedded in his character Major General, of the much parodied song which is a highlight of the play.

Johnathan Johnson as the Sergeant of Police led his officers around the stage with beguiling walks and puppet-like head popping.

Young costume designer/ producer Kara Fisher has done a fabulous job with the clobber. It all looked wonderful with colourful pirates, pristine maidens and quintessential bobbies. Fisher aims to design for stage and screen and this play is a big  early tick in her portfolio.
Sullivan once described his music for Pirates as ‘tunier’ than that of H.M.S. Pinafore.
Tuny is a good a word as any for a score that ranges from the sprightly to the boisterous.
The RMT orchestra, assuredly conducted by Sheree Drummond, who seemed to be enjoying the exercise immensely, was always buoyant but never over-bearing.
The Redcliffe Musical Theatre version of the Pirates of Penzance is based on the award-winning New York Public Theater  adaptation.
All in all, The Pirates of Penzance is a joyous musical.
It continues at Redcliffe Cultural Centre until August 19. Book at www.redcliffeculturalcentre.com.au or phone 3283 0407.
Whenever you see someone being officious or bullying, sing Tarantara! Tarantara! OIC it coming on now!

Bernie Dowling, August 12, 2012.

Phoney war on drugs

Olympic rant #16 Journalism 101 Create a furore
THE Bolt v Lewis drug brouhaha was a classic media beat-up. It raced across international television screens and newspaper front pages with a speed worthy of the central characters.
Carl Lewis points the finger
only to have it bitten off

There was little to the yarn and it was hardly news but, by the time the egg-beater had a mish-mash, it came out thicker and messier than chocolate pudding.
A London Sun journo had the most measured report on the story and it is not often you can say that.
Steven Howard wrote in  The Sun
Usain Bolt talked about Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Bob Marley. And those Swedish handball players.
And sex. And drugs. And rock ’n roll.
And how Manchester United should sign Robin van Persie.
And how he thought that the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio would be Mission Impossible.
He even talked about cricket and the IPL.
And he put the boot in on Carl Lewis, which he probably shouldn’t have done.
Yes, Bolt could have left out the bit about the Swedish handball players and should have swallowed the lines about Carl Lewis when they popped up his throat.
The wordy Bolt had come to speak on many things. He felt provoked by Carl Lewis’s assertion that Bolt’s incredible feats might be drug induced.
Wiki says Lewis made his remarks during the London Games. Someone bettere tell them it’s dead wrong. I tried correcting a Wiki article once but getting accreditation to do so baffled me.
Other reports had Lewis makibg the veiled accusations ‘pre-game’. That was more accurate, as I guess 2008, or 45BC, for that matter, is pre-game. Bolt had obviously been stewing over the insults for four years and fired back.
Carl Lewis made his assertions in a Sports Illustrated article after Bolt’s 100m and 200m victories at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Following the international protocols of calling someone a drug cheat, Lewis in http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/arash_markazi/09/11/carl.lewis/
demurred he was not saying Bolt was on drugs.
          
 ‘Countries like Jamaica do not have a random program, so they can go months without being tested. I’m not saying anyone is on anything, but everyone needs to be on a level playing field.
…he’s not going to have me saying he’s great and then two years later he gets popped.

It was all a misunderstanding. Lewis did not say Bolt was on drugs. It was just that Bolt and upwards of 10 million readers thought Lewis was saying just that. Bolt silently did his years of stewing. At London 2012, with back-to-back golds in the 100m and 200m and totally unpopped, he hit back.
Four years down the athletics track,  should have left Lewis alone. It was unfair of Bolt to bring it up as if it were yesterday Lewis said it.  Some articles mentioned Lewis had tested positive three times before the 1988 Olympics. No article that I read added Lewis was exonerated on the grounds the drugs, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, andphenylpropanolamine were in prescription medication. Whatever you think of that decision, no drug suspensions are against Lewis’s name.
Lewis fared badly on Twitter.
If you are Jamaican I think you should be allowed to slap Carl Lewis in the mouth with a breadfruit.
Carl Lewis’s reputation ko’ed. On the night Bolt achieved what he never could, a bitter man who failed 3 drugs tests gets put in his place
@CharlesRobinson Nobody under 30 knows who Carl Lewis is. They know who Usain Bolt is.
Actually, Lewis’s  Sports Illistrated interview finished with a musical analogy which he should have been spruiking earlier insyead od f drugs in reference to Bolt.
Lewis said:
We get caught up in comparing all the time. I have this discussion with young people. They’ll tell me Beyonce is better than so-and-so. Why can’t we just say that Beyonce is amazing and so-and-so is amazing? I mean Ella Fitzgerald is amazing. Sarah Vaughan is amazing. Whitney Houston is amazing. Why do you have to say that Beyonce is better? Let’s just be happy that we had a chance to celebrate all of them.

Well said Carl. Why could you have stuck to such a line, throughout? When Black women and men become role models, it is unseemly to see them fighting among themselves. Also you have  mentioned Billie Holiday .
For his part, Bolt was at his best in victory interviews when he talked about Bob Marley.
And who was the greatest Jamaican — him or Bob Marley?
Bolt said: “When it comes to Bob Marley, he is one of the greatest ever out of Jamaica.
“He really did wonderful things for the country before me.
“So I’m just carrying out his duty. 
“We’re the same, we have the same goal to make Jamaica one of the most loved and finest countries in the world.

Bernie Dowling, August 11, 2012

Run up for Jah

Olympic Rant #14 Celebrate Jamaican Independence

OLYMPIC athletes  Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Usain Bolt and  Yohan Blake provided a thrilling prelude to  today’s Jamaican Independence Day with a combined four medals in the marquee 100m sprints.
Fraser-Pryce and Bolt  completed back-to-back golds, an uncommon feat in the 100m dash. Campbell-Brown took the bronze and Blake the silver behind their illustrious team-mates.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: Four names in one: 
no wonder she is so quick

A couple of anomalies turn up when we look at the fastest woman alive compared to the men.
Usain Bolt is the fastest man alive and the world record holder.
Carmelita Jeterof the United States is the fastest woman alive (10.64s) but the deceased Florence Griffith-Joyner of the U.S. holds the world record.(10.49)
Shelly-Ann Fraser is the fourth faster woman alive and not the holder of the Olympic record either, That also goes to the deceased Flo-Jo  (10.62)

Sprinters – Women’s 100 Metres (World Record10.49 by Griffith-Joyner at the ’88 Olympic Trials)
1. Florence Griffith-Joyner (United States) – Fastest Time: 10.49 seconds
The 100m 
Olympic record (10.62) was set by Flo Jo at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.
2. Carmelita Jeter (United States) – Fastest Time: 10.64 seconds
Jeter ran a 10.67 at the 2009 World Athletics Final and a 10.64 at the 2009 Shanghai Golden Grand Prix.
3. Marion Jones (United States) – Fastest Time: 10.65 seconds
Jones won the 100 metre at the 1998 IAAF World Cup in South Africa with a time of 10.65.
4. Shelly-Ann Fraser (Jamaica) – Fastest Time: 10.73 seconds
Fraser, along with her Jamaican teammates, dominated the women’s 100m at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
5. Christine Arron (France) – Fastest Time: 10.73 seconds
Arron placed third in the 100m and 200m sprints at the 2005 World Championships in Paris.
6. Merlene Ottey (Jamaica) – Fastest Time: 10.74 seconds
Ottey has won more World Championships medals (14) than any other female sprinter in history.
7. Kerron Stewart (Jamaica) – Fastest Time: 10.75 seconds
Stewart won the silver medal in the women’s 100m at the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2009 Worlds.
8. Evelyn Ashford (United States) – Fastest Time: 10.76 seconds
A U.S. Track Hall of Fame athlete, Ashford set a later broken Olympic record at the 1984 Olympics.
9. Irina Privalova (Russia) – Fastest Time: 10.77 seconds
Privalova is a World Champion in numerous indoor events, and holds the indoor records for the 50m and 60m sprints.
10. Ivet Lalova (Bulgaria) – Fastest Time: 10.77 seconds
Lalova’s best 100 metre time was set in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2004 when she ran a 10.77.

INDEPENDENCE from Great Britain came to Jamaica in 1962, not long before the rise of the trio Bob Marley and the Wailers, with various backing musicians.
Teenager Millie Small paved the way for the success of the Wailers with her surprise 1964 international hit with a cover of My Boy Lollipop.

In the mid-1990s I wrote my plat Tosh, a dramatisation of the history of the Wailers: Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer.
The play is still to be performed.
With the success of self-publishing over the past decade has put the destiny of novels in the hands of authors. But getting a play up is still in the hands of Jah.
If you drop me an email at bentbananabooks@gmail.com, I will send you a copy of Tosh as soon as I retrieve the disk from Strathpine Library. Don’t ask; it is safe.
In the meantime, let’s hear another song from the play which these days would be called a jukebox musical.

Spoiler alert! What song do you think finishes Tosh?
Bernie Dowling, Jamaican Independence Day, 2012

Badminton should be good mittens one of my favourite things

Illympic Rant #10 Do those Commie bastards!!!

IN an earlier rant I portrayed the efficiently murderous missiles being developed by a  Russian-Indian partnership as shuttlecocks for the impending Illympic sport of water badminton. Little did I know that badminton would become the focus of a Sino-West showdown at the London Games.
Life follows art in the world of badmimton

These shockin’ awful Illympic Games have become a political nightmare with China accused of progressing from drug cheats to all-round cheats.
It is as if the final medal count between China and the U.S. will be reflective of whether the American or Sino economy rules the world.
Great American author/ essayist/ polemicist/ all-round wordsmith Gore Vidal invariably showed impeccable timing throughout his lifetime. Vidal did not help matters by dying during what will become known as the Chinese Badminton Crisis, named after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Vidal scandalised the U.S by suggesting China would become the new Superpower, sending care packages to Washington, New York and San Francisco. He had the temerity to die in the midst of the crisis, reminding everyone of his prediction.
China was one of the four Asian teams disqualified from the badminton competition. Their transgressions were gloriously oxymoronic: they were losing games in order to win medals. Cheating it was, according to OIC officials.
Now, in most sporting contests, losing to win is a futile exercise. After preliminary contests, the best performing sides are seeded against the worst performing sides. Apparently this is not the case with Illympic badminton and one Chinese side had to throw a game in order to be in the medal fight with another Chinese side.
A casual observer such as me might think the structure of the sport is wrong.
Not so according to the esteemed English popular newspaper the Daily Mail. It’s simply the Chinese are cheats and they have been at it for a long time.

 Chinese players had been scheduled to meet 99 times in 2011: on 20 occasions the game was either not played, or not completed. When China played China, 19.8 per cent of games did not reach a conclusion.

In case you do no get it, 20 out of 99 = 19.8 per cent

Now I suspect, for many badminton competitions, this is the way to work your way through a flawed system when you want to win,
Apparently, the Daily Mail thought it was nefarious, which is obviously evil, being a multisyllabic word you reluctantly have to put in your paper.
China were expected to win every gold medal at the London Olympic Games and all reasonable evidence suggested that the athletes and coaches at the pinnacle of the sport were behaving in a nefarious manner. Instead, a blind eye was turned. Today, the reputation of badminton is in tatters.

I believe that should have read “China was expected to win” but the image of invading red hordes was better conveyed by “were”.
Other reports likened the Chinese selection and training processes to human rights abuse. The best of them have the Buddhist/ Daoist/ Communist medal winners being downright unchristian.

Welcome to the Brave new world of Illympic Games.
Bernie Dowling August 2, 2012.

Pay a wet tribute to Phelps

Olympic Rant #9 Give the pool cleaner a medal
ONE important thing which sets sporting champions apart from the rest of us is they hat3e to lose.
That also sets sociopaths apart from us too, but Michael Phelps is no sociopath.

The Human Medal Detector
Few of us ever have a close relationship with a sporting champ, though we have all worked with a sociopath or three. The one in the corner office is the biggest worry.
Phelps won his record 19th Olympic medal anchoring the men’s 200-freestyle relay. . Fifteen of those medals were of the golden persuasion, including eight gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Some journos intent on enticing tweets asked if he was the best Olympian ever. Of course it is impossible to compare disparate sports and sportspeople. But 19 m4edals are more than anyone else has won. On that objective measure, Phelps is the best ever.
It says something about American hegemony – is that word still in the dictionary – that the previous holder of mist Olympic medals Russian gymnast, Larissa Latynina hardly raised a beep on the heart monitor of popular culture. It is not a case of how quickly we forget because most of us never consciously knew.
Best play the American London Games 2012 National Anthem before we forget that. The vid is not that clear and mostly zoomless but it was recorded en el Elstadio Olimpico de Barcelona el 17 de Mayo de 2012’. If you have to go to Google Translate to decipher the afore typed, you might want to relinquish that dream of learning another language.)

Swimming is a funny sport. In other games such as football or snooker, you can trade physical acumen for guile and experience and play into your 30s or 40s. On swimming once old age of say 27 or 28, you have pretty much had it. It is also a sport which requires inordinate amounts of training from a young.
Australian Olympic swimmer Jessicah Schipper wrote the forward for my collection of earlier rants, 7 Shouts (available from Google eBooks, Amazon and their affiliates: first and last commercial on these otherwise public-broadcast rants).
Jess wrote: ‘I am also guessing he (me) would have been pretty horrified to learn I woke up at 3.45am to go to swimming training and I did that five times a week, as well as training five afternoons a week.’ Horrified, flabbergasted, disbelieving; they were three of the seven stages of gobsmacked I recall going through. I never made it to acceptance.
When I was a young man I was somewhat adept at snooker and pool in a careless wasted-youth, sort of way. I used to frequent a snooker hall owned by a pro. He would spend four hours sinking the colours, in order, yellow to black from the shooting position half-way along the diameter of the semi-circle. I should explain it took him four hours not because age had made him hopeless. It was just that he would do it again and again and again, for four hours. You have probably heard that smashing your head against a brick wall is not madness; failing to stop doing it is. That might be wise advice to live by in many endeavours, but definitely not in sport.
This brings us to the people Phelps must, in all honesty and fairness, share his 19 medals with. There are his support network of family and friends, his coaches and sports managers, all his opponents and even the pool cleaners.
Esteemed Australian author Thomas Keneally (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith) Schindler’s List) modestly declared himself a journeyman, helping to clear the field of literature for creative geniuses to pass through. Jess Schipper will finish her Olympic career with two gold and two bronze as she goes home empty handed from London. Yet, just like Phelps, she is a true champion. I was privileged to see a teenaged Schipper rise from a journeywoman age swimmer in Australia to winning World Championship gold five times.
In between all that swimming and training, she would always give her time to worthy causes in her community.
Jess became a world champ with an iron will embedded in the sweetest of personalities.
Michael Phelps, Jess Schipper and all the journey athletes of the world, we salute you.
Because I have been so nice in this rant, I now have to punish readers with a tribute to the POOs – parents of Olympians. This is the most cloyingly nauseous song I can come up with. Enjoy.

Bernie Dowling, August 1, 2012

Pool brouhaha splashes at the shallow end

Olympic Rant #8 Dopey blasts dwarf win

‘YOU’RE a drug cheat.’
‘No you’re a drug cheat.’
‘You’re a druggie.’
Nah, you’re a druggie; nah, nah, nah.’
Back and forth across the Olympic the pool, the accusations fly like shuttlecocks; it is water badminton.
The latest design in shuttlecocks for water badminton
expected to be an Olympic sport in 2020 

Chinese swimmer Shiwen Ye was the catalyst for the first of a barrage of snide remarks when she won the 400m individual medley. It should have been a fairy tale result as Ye easily swam her personal best and snatched a world record. But it turned into a fairy tale directed by Tim Burton as the dark news unfolded that the Chinese schoolgirl had swum a faster final 50m than Ryan Lochte who had won the men’s equivalent and relegated super swimmer Michael Phelps to a medal-less  fourth in the process.
At first no one quite yelled out Ye was a drug cheat: that would be against the Olympic spirit of these carping back-biting Games.
Lochte served up just a hint of suspicion as he told journos the American camp discussed it over dinner. ‘She’s fast,’ he told reporters, just in case any of the scribes had not noticed.
It was wise to help out the world’s media with an indisputable piece of copy. It was not only the swim which had the world’s media declaring there were two Shiwen.  Yes. I am not sure about the exact proportion but let’s say half the world’s media believe her name is Ye Shiwen. I am with the “Shiwen Ye” half because that is all she writes in the official Games website. For those wishing to argue the toss at your own dinner party, Ye is the family name.
Australian swimming commentator and former Olympic medallist Susie O’Neill was known as Madam Butterfly in her heyday. She was more Madam Math as she gave her opinion of the swim of Mademoiselle Ye. ‘Every time we see a good Chinese swimmer….there’s just that .0001 per cent at the back of mind.’
It might have been at the back of Madam Butterfly’s mind but it butterflew to the front of her lips.
The coyness of such remarks failed to impress a former Chinese swimming official who did not confucius with maths or dinner-party banter in returning the water shuttlecock.
Shanghai Chen was the head of the Chinese Olympic medical team in Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona. ‘America’s (Michael) Phelps broke seven world records! Is he normal?’ Dr Chen asked.
Before a journo could ask the sensible question ‘what’s your definition of normal’, Chen made it clear drug cheating was abnormal.
‘I suspect Phelps, but without evidence,’ he said. This sounded like the distillation of a conversation at a tea, rather than dinner, party. ‘I have to recognise that we should be grounded in facts,’
Dr Chen said.
That is how you engage in war of drug cheating without either side making an outright accusation against the other.
‘The Americans are very bad; they do a lot of evil,’ Dr Chen said  
Swimming pools are central to geopolitics: with the medico’s unsophisticated diagnosis, all became clear.
Congratulations Azerbaijan
Valentin Hristov, 18, won Olympic bronze for Azerbaijan in the clean and jerk 56-kg weight class) event.
In another upset, North Korea’s Om Yun Chol won the gold ahead of Chinese world champion Jingbiao Wu (or Wu Jingbiao, take your pick).
Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev, watched the success of Bulgarian-born Hristov.
The Republic of Azerbaijan is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticised the nation’s record on human rights: especially its treatment of homosexuals and the media.
All may not be forgiven but this journalist is glad to see a nation which is not a household name in the West take home a medal. We applaud you in the traditional manner.
Bernie Dowling July 31, 2012

How the West has lost

              Olympic Rant #7 More surprises than at a Tea Party Geography Quiz

UPSETS are the order of the first daze of the 2012 Games.
Super swimmer  Michael Phelps set the tone when he was unplaced in his first final, the 400m individual motley.
Some thought Michael Phelps swam in a dinner suit

Phelps made amends, of sorts when he able to rub his 17thOlympic medal, but it was only a silver  when the Americans were swum down by the French  in the freestyle relay.   The French? Sure we know they can speak incomprehensible philosophy under water but who knew they could move so fast on top of it. The favourites, the Aussies, came an unimpressive fourth.
In the sabre version of poking-holes-in-people, Hungarian Aron  Szilagyi, ranked only sixth in the world,won the gold.
The victory took those of us with long memories or fertile imaginations back to the glorious 1912 Summer Olympics  in Stockholm.
The 1912 Hungarian poking-holes-in-people team.

The final eight in the sabre poking-holes-in-people were seven Hungarians and one Italian.
Nedo Nadi really took it to the Hungarians and the plucky Italian finished sixth. Jeno Fuchs overcame ridicule, in primary school because of his name, to take the gold.
Jeno and his fellow six finalists as well as Aron, we salute you, although we leave  our sabres in their scabbard.

If these upsets keep up, they will feed the families of sundry academics for generations. Psychologists, social scientists, sports medicos, politico types  and economists will argue whether the upsets mean the decline of the West.
The Tea Party will blame Barack Obama who fixed the Games  to support an African nation. Most Tea Party members know where the country is because they saw a doco on Hungary Africa.
Bernie Dowling July 30, 2012

Shoot and Poke at the Olympics

Olympic rant *6 Asia tops the West 
They like to start the killing sports early at the Olympics.
China’s Siling Yi took gold in the 1om women’s air-rifle shooting-at-things and South Korean Jongoh Jin won the men’s 10m air-pistol shooting-at-things.
Jin wins shooting-at-things
Italian Elisa Di Francisca won gold in the women’s poking-holes-in-people individual foil.
A foil used in the sport of poking-holes-in-people

Italy was also successful in the team shooting-arrows-at-things. Michele Frangilli, Marco Galiazzo and Mauro Nespoli hugged and raised their hands in celebration after the final arrow from Frangilli beat the Americans 219-218 at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Frangilli shot the last arrow of the final for the Italians to win.
Not for profit broadcaster NPR proved it could mix it with all for profit jingoists such as Fox in Olympic coverage with this headline.

 Team USA Wins First Medals Of London 2012 Games
Of course, that is ITS first medals of the games not THE first. This misleading banner will not win the jingo gold but it put NPR on the early leader board.
The Australian team took the gold medal in the women’s 4X100m freestyle relay. NPR did not list the Aussie team or the Dutch who came second.  It did list the U.S. team which came third.
We need to play the Aussie National 2012 Games Anthem. This should not be confused with Advance Australia Fair.

The Aussies were Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger with Libby Trickett, Emily Seebohm and Yolane Kukla also winning gold after they swam in the heats.
China’s Yang Sun set an Olympic record in winning the 400m freestyle and Shiwen Ye won the 400m individual medley. English, American and Australian media are inverting the names to have, for example, Ye Shiwen winning gold, despite their accepted names being readily available on the Games website. As a journalist, I am no expert on the world’s nomenclature, buy would you noi go with the official Games website and blame them if it is wrong? WTF, they are only Chinese.
Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan won the men’s cycling road race, with the favourite Mark Cavendish of the UK well beaten.
Alex puts a spoke in the UK wheel

The 38-year-old Vinokourov had a wonderful if unexpected triumph in his last year of racing. He survived a bad crash in last year’s Tour de France, breaking and broke his right femur.  The best he could do at this year’s your was a third in one stage.
Vinokourov began cycling in 1984 as an 11 year-old, competing within the former Soviet Union. He turned professional there in 1998.
Well done, that man on the bike.

Bernie Dowling July 29, 2012

Rand and rand the Olympic track

Olympic Ayn Rant # 3: The American Anthem

I AM a big fan of political and corporate leaders aligning themselves with arts and literature to the merriment of the general public.
London Louie B. Mayor Boris Johnson did a fine job of commissioning a modern version of the Olympic victory ode. In the spirit of the great producer-performers of the past, Johnson even recited the piece of doggerel himself. A world-wide audience laughed at the ode and its inevitable spoofs.
These delicious moments are far too rare, usually because of an over-educated junior, on the public or private patrol, who objects, ‘You can’t do that.’ Fortuitously, it is from one of these spoiler interventions that we are able to bring the American Games Anthem, as fresh as fresh as Daisy Duck, as thematic of the London 2012 international extravaganza.
American president-elect Ronald Reagan wanted this song performed at his 1981 inauguration. A junior fun-killer declared, ‘You can’t do that.’
Before the launch of the American National Anthem, we need to introduce the patron of the US team. It has to be Ayn Rand.
Ayn Rand in training for the Mind Games

The Russian emigrant is a sublime example, of the United States immigrant made good, which has inspired generations of achievers on and off the sporting field.
Like many a heroic role model, dripping fame and wealth, Rand had to overcome adversity hiding beneath the rungs of the ladder of success. Indeed, her first visit to the US almost robbed that nation of the privilege of hosting one of the great philosophical minds of the 20the century.
In the autumn of 1925, Rand first stepped on American soil. Overcome by the splendour of the Manhattan skyline, she burst into tears. A New Yorker, thinking she was distressed, put a gentle hand on her shoulder and asked what was the matter.
Rand was a committed pacifist but she was confused and she kneed the stranger, Al Trooism, in the groin. Police interviews with the two parties would determine the future of Rand and the intellectual life of the United States.
The budding philosopher told the authorities Trooism’s interference dismayed her. ‘I did not want him trying to help me; his attempt at help made me nauseous,’ the police notebook read. For his part, Altrooism declined to lay charges.
Today, no one knows anything about Al Trooism, while many New Yorkers greatly admire the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
On a more practical note, I believe her patronage will give America a head start at the inaugural Ayn Rand Olympic Games, set to come in after the next Global Financial Crisis.
At the fiscally responsible Rand Olympics, all team sports will be eliminated. There will be no relay events and no such things and doubles and triples in the rowing. The atavistic Opening Ceremony, with its sickening coming together of previously noble individuals, will be canned.
Of course, the glorious closing ceremony will be spared but it will be much shortened. Before the gates are open to the public, all the athletes will have gathered in the centre of the stadium. In the unforgettable ceremony, the rabble will disperse into a line of heroic individual athletes. A blonde blue-eyed javelin throw will recite explanations of Rand’s political philosophy, known as fuckupal. The banjo, moonshine jig, chainsaw, rifle and Bible-bashing Tea Party Symphony orchestra will play excerpts from Wagner’s The Ring Cycle.
It will be the best Olympics the modern world has known.
After discussion of this future opus, it seems almost prosaic to introduce the American National London Olympics 2012 Anthem. Nonetheless be ready to upload this classic every time an American athlete wins a medal.

Little known Olympic fact number 2

Philip Morris Atlas was a judge in track and field at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Injury prone British athlete Derek Redmond looked in good shape for the 400m at the Spanish Games.
He posted the fastest time of the first heats and won his quarter-final.
In the semi-final, Redmond was going well until he hit the back straight and did a hamstring.
He fell to the ground in agony but struggled to his feet when he saw stretcher bearers comingfor him.
 The finish line was 250m down the track and Redmond hobbled towards it. 
His father Jim Redmond burst from the stands to help his son. Derek Redmond leaned on his father’s shoulder and they made it the line, the cheers and applause of 65,000 spectators, ringing in their ears.
Chief judge Philip Morris Atlas turned to his junior and said, ‘That’s incredible.’ Wiping away a tear, the junior judge agreed. 
Atlas went on. ‘How dare that man try to set back the spirit and rules of the Olympic Games by helping that athlete across the line? Mark Derek Redmond down as DNF.
The junior judge could not believe it. ‘You are going to reward an inspirational act of altruism with a did not finish.’
Atlas shrugged.

Barbaric threat to modern civilisation

Bernie Dowling, July 27, 2012.

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