As The Cork News’s London correspondent, it’s probably my duty to give a little attention to a certain, little-known sporting event that seems to be intent on blocking the roads, spending my taxes and causing Boris Johnson to make bizarre ‘Big Brother is watching’ style loudspeaker announcements at any given moment.
I was prepared to hate the Olympics, because there is no earthly reason a person like me would enjoy them. Aside from the marketing campaign being hideous (a collection of geometric shapes? That’s seriously the best logo you could come up with?) I have a long-abiding hatred of athletics, dating from an early traumatic experience. I was eight, and it was the school Fun Day. I was bolting ahead, going for the gold-foil wrapped chocolate medal that was so deservedly mine, when an errant toddler strayed onto the football pitch-cum-race track. I smashed right into him, losing the race and steamrolling the child. I don’t go in for kids much these days, either.
Taking all this into account, I think I was more surprised than anyone to discover that the Olympics are actually awesome. In the interest of brevity, I’ve composed a brief list explaining why.
The Opening Ceremony
When the opening ceremony was blowing the world’s skirt up, I was drunk and had totally forgotten the Olympics were happening. I fell in the front door to a room full of men screeching in adulation and pointing at Rowan Atkinson on the TV screen.
“Why is Rowan Atkinson on the-.”
“MR. BEAN! MR. BEAN IS BACK!”
“Have I missed anyth-.”
“You’ve missed EVERYTHING.”
Playing it back a day later, I had apparently missed everything. The Queen jumped out of a plane. The history of Britain was recreated through dance. The whole thing was Great Britain in a surrealist gay club.
Olympic Scape Goating
Late for work? Need to leave early? Long lunch? It’s okay, because the Olympics are on, and apparently, nobody can get in trouble. Goddamn those Olympics, mucking up the travel.