Wednesday, August 08, 2012

In the waiting room, waiting for gold medals

Once again I am in the dentist’s carpark. I can never quite judge how long it will take to get out here, and I keep finding myself 20 minutes early. Last time I refused to take the laptop out in the waiting room, and was kept waiting (as advertised,  I guess) for about 35 minutes. And the magazines there are either Hello! or very worthy and dull eco-shelter periodicals.

I have to say I have turned into a bit of an Olympic hypocrite. In the early days of this nation’s gold medal drought, I expressed the view that medal tables are nationalistic nonsense, and that the athletes are competing as individuals. That is the Olympic spirit, and how it was meant to be. Furthermore, there are too many ridiculous sports that ought to be chucked out. Messing about in boats, for instance. And hopping on a horse for a bit of clippity-clop around a paddock, leaping over amusing pastiches of London landmarks.

Now, however, it is day 12 and we have only just won our first individual gold medal, in the Laser class sailing. We, Australia. Our proud sports-mad nation which has been lagging behind Kazakhstan and 17 other countries. And our prospects of more depend on a bunch of sunburnt North Shore-y boatie types in about 27 different classes of ketch, yawl and wave ski. Also hopefully Ffiona Tops-Forpington might snag another gold in either the Pony Race or her other event, Horse Dancing. And if we come by a couple more in the Sawn-Off Shotgun or the BMX Race To The Shops - you will not hear any carping from me. Any more.

Things have come to head, and I realise that all my high-minded idealism is just thinly painted over a standard-issue Aussie win-anything-at-any-cost mentality.


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