Saturday, 23 August 2008

Medals To Die For

  Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge takes Usain Bolt to task over his apparent lack of respect for the losers in his record breaking competitions. Someone's  living in the past - and that someone is Usain himself, whose exuberant vainglory takes us right back to the ancient Greeks,  champion originators of these great games and of the incredible hubris that goes with them. Live on, Lightning! (Until the gods send their own bolt against you, alas,  as they always will.) 

     China, too, has come into its share of slagging for taking these games too much to heart. The chest beating may not be as  obstreperous  as the Jamaican Jet's, but it clearly has thrown the american media off its stride, and rightly so. China. it seems, has found more productive venues for its growing wealth that sluicing it into the deserts of distant realms trying to convert the world to its way of life. And if push comes to shove, what youngster wouldn't rather sacrifice his or her youth in athletic training with a hope of winning national glory on the field of sport than dying for some stupid "war against terror" with nothing but a Purple Heart and a row of plastic lilies  to show for it at the end of the day? And if sports are really just sublimated war, as we're told, the American placing (literally) in the gold medal count, could not have come at a more propitious time as during the nose-bloodying it received at the hands of its erstwhile rival Russia over the Georgia debacle. The American puppet Saakashvili thought the games a perfect cover, doubtless, for his little adventure, but ironically they proved to be the best foil against which to set the ebbing power of his masters. Bear-baiting is not a sport for poodles!   

       Meanwhile, Canada with its "haul," as some of the papers are calling it, of three gold medals,  knows all about the importance of deferring to the losers. That puts her at number 19, thirteen behind her one time rival Australia, and trailing the  entire "G8" club of nations with whom she used to share so many podiums. Funny how this plethora of bronze has accompanied our race into diversity. And that's not to overlook our quondam golden boy Ben Johnson, whose performances turned out to be much more diverse than we bargained for. Ah such, such were the days, eh Canada?       

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