Posted by: docdenbow | July 29, 2012

The Olympic Pains

Am I alone in feeling somewhat ambivalent to this whole Olympic Games nonsense. Much like the annual turgid spectacle that is Wimbledon, the whole of the news media and especially the BBC is dominated by this bastardization of Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin’s stolen dream of pure sports competition. The real idea of a modern Olympics was born in a place called Much Wenlock in Shropshire by Dr. William Penny Brookes, the fact that Baron de Coubertin had the same idea 30 or 40 years later is just detail, and the devil is in the detail dontcha know?

Anyway during the Wimbledon fortnight the UK as a whole turns into knowledgeable connoisseurs of tennis, and now we will rapidly become obsessed and just as knowledgeable with sundry sports that we didn’t realize were sports. Yes as the BBC force feeds us with Olympic coverage we will watch open eyed and open mouthed these fantastic examples of the human form as they variously perform acts of heroic endeavour. Naturally the games themselves, can be viewed as an event which is, in my opinion, being sullied by the level of sponsorship by corporate giants. What sporting incentives are being offered by the companies whose products variously rot your teeth, help you increase in weight, pollute our oceans or help us smell nice, for example? It’s all about the cash.

Which brings me to the competitors. I can’t help but think that the real motivation of a “free” Westerner like Ben Johnson who filled himself with steroids to allow him to give an unbelievable performance in Seoul was about “sticking one to Carl Lewis.” It was about cash. Johnson would have made a fortune had he passed that dope test. He would never have had to run again – ever. He could have copped for a huge cheque and spent his retirement days flogging trainers via TV adverts and the like. There have been so many of them down the years, some who were caught and some obvious ones who were not. I really and truly believe their motivation was greed, all of them chasing the almighty dollar. The sport and the records simply being a by product of the cash incentives. Some of those records have stood for a suspiciously long time and came from hitherto pretty much unsung performers.

The competitors from the Eastern Bloc countries were more likely to have not been party to their doping. There was no cash incentives for them to win except perhaps a Lada car and a colour telly. The powers that be in places like East Germany would want to show the world how successful their way of life was by producing a seemingly endless conveyor belt of athletic excellence. I do wonder whatever happened to those drug filled competitors and how their health is these days.

We are being told constantly these days that we are looking at drug free sport. Is sport drug free or are the murky medics becoming better at hiding the little helpers that they are giving to their customers? That’s open to question. Will we see a big name topple in the London Olympics? I doubt it. Will all of the competitors be “clean?” I doubt that as well. A cloud is still hanging over cycling’s finest, Lance Armstrong, who still vehemently denies any drug abuse. However, so did Floyd Landis and Alberto Contador until the former finally came clean.

So remember folks, before you make arses of yourselves talking about wrestling and judo, shooting and sailing, stick to what’s easy – running – it’s easier to understand.

Ciao For Now




  1. I liked the opening ceremony, it covered my fave subjects: The NHS, the birth of industrialised capitalism, and the spice girls after a dodgy ruby (five burning rings). Yes it truly is all over for me already. But still, nice to see a bit of panto at the start to make the table tennis and wrestling look even shitter by comparison. How can any of it live up to that start?



  2. I personally think this has been an outstanding Olympic Games so far, a huge success considering all the negativity in the lead up to it.

    We have seen some outstanding, brave performances with Athletes giving their all to bring home the gold in front of a home crowds. It was only 12 months ago when all our news channels were polluted with ugly scenes from the London Riots – scumbags and pondlife looting shops and causing carnage. These images were broadcast all over the world and I for one was embarrassed as a Brit. This gives us something to be proud of.

    I think the post is slightly disrespectful towards those athletes who spend their life working hard training and staying disciplined to become the best. I want my own children to be inspired by these athletes so have absolutely no problem with the BBC schedule being flooded with not only Athletics, but also lesser known sports such as Archery, Shooting etc. I’d prefer them to take up a hobby such as that, than to stand outside the local co-op with a bottle of cheap cider and a packet of fags!



    • Whilst I applaud the efforts of many of the Olympic competitors, I do wonder how many are as squeaky clean as they are portrayed. In sport in the recent recent past performance enhancing drug use has been endemic with many sports becoming a “non-event” for me.

      Remember when this post was written….I wrote this in the main prior to the Games actually starting and I may be a cynical old git but I am surprised that there has been no one caught full of drugs.

      What I was also getting at is the whole bit about people becoming interested and partially obsessed with sports and events that they usually don’t give a stuff about.

      Mind you it can d no harm, as you said, if it encourages kids to want to take part in sport – any sport.


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