Monday, March 27, 2006

Mrs Willard by a nose!

Last night I heard some archival commentary from (I think) the Melbourne Olympics of 1956. Its sounded like the women's 100 metres, some kind of sprint anyway. What was amazing was that all the runners were "Mrs". I have just looked it up, it was actually the 1958 Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales.

It was something like: "Mrs Willard holding off Mrs Young... Mrs Willard, Mrs Willard still, Mrs Young closing but its Mrs WILLARD FOR THE GOLD MEDAL."

Which leads me to imagine them as mumsy ladies in flowery housecoats, possibly carrying shopping.

While I'm working dangerously with stereoteypes, one of my other favourite radio moments was the call of a 100 metres heat at maybe the Sydney Olympics. The fastest sprinters in the world are generally from English-speaking countries, so the leaders in a race will often be Andrews, Johnson, Smith, Robinson etc. If your name is Yee or Al-Bhadawi you are probably not going to win a sprint. And its all over in ten seconds so there isnt time to even mention the stragglers often.

So this one I remember went like this.
"Green away well. Bolden. Green. Thomas. Green. BOLDEN CLOSING. GREEN GREEN GREEN! ITS GREEN FROM BOLDEN, Thomas third, Böhm,[excitement dying away fast] Akbar. Sato. Fung.

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