Tuesday, 12 August 2008

On the Matter of the Olympics

Quick Proclaimer.

I do not pretend to have anything more than a passing interest in writing about the Olympics. However being that I am closer to the Olympics than 99% of my readership, I feel honour and duty bound to write about them as best I can. Begrudgingly I must admit that 99% of my live Olympic coverage resource is in a foreign language and as such my reporting might be suitably disorientated.



Anyway the Olympics started on Friday. We managed to miss the opening ceremony by sticking to the major networks. BBC, CNN and Aljazeera. How does this work? Well for all of their self promotion on how feature complete their Olympic coverage is, they did not have the rights to screen the opening ceremony. So we saw some sweaty reporters and glimpses of fireworks from the street. Think downtown New Years eve.

Never mind we slept on it. The next morning we discovered a South African sports channel and the dulcet delights of Keith Quinn commentating on archery or something else that he should have no business commentating about. The truly shocking thing is that he sounds quite good talking about archery. Let us hope South Africa can adopt him as a specialist sports reporter. In fact it appears that the South African sports channel has peppered its line up with a full cast of New Zealand and English commentators. Read into that what you will. Draw your own conclusions.

So we have a good TV channel to watch the Olympics with. The only problem is that it is delayed and often repeated coverage. If we want to watch something live we watch the local coverage. Watching Olympics in another language is strange. Given the strengths that Thailand has you could be forgiven thinking that womens weightlifting and badminton are the only two sports at the Olympics(slight truth stretching)

So I find myself flicking back to the major channels to find some of the fabled comprehensive 100% complete coverage. What I find is human "interest" pieces about Bejing transport, food and accommodation. Did you know that dog has recently been removed from the menus of Bejing's largest food market? Talk about bad timing!

From the Olympics I have watched it has become clearly obvious that we need more fringe sports if we are to compete with China in the future. I think I might have invented one this afternoon in Chiang Mai's largest shopping centre. As is often the case when I have been dragged screaming from shop to shop buying nothing, grimacing as one only hopelessly in love can, I need to sit down.

I have recently become attached to the massaging chairs that are popping up all over the place. The chairs here are different as I was soon to find out. As soon as I sat down on the chair a loud peeling scream rang out from behind me. A flock of teenage girls cantered past squealing with laughter at me. Huh I thought with the wisdom of someone in a foreign shopping centre, can't get many chair users around here. The ringing subsided with the starting of my chair and I soon drifted into as much as a stupor as I could reach without copious amounts of mind altering substances. When I awoke some teenage girls were sitting on the bench beside me. The chair had wound down and the screaming and laughter rang out again. Hah I thought nobody could mistake one of these chairs as a lounger, but I was midly sheepish as I thought of the spectacle I had made of myself.

Therefore, to sooth my bruised ego it is necessary to canvas the IOC for the inclusion of a new olympic sport. Unwittingly public displays of stupidity in unfamiliar surroundings. I could be onto a winner!
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