Right up to the eve of the opening ceremony Rio 2016 was shaping up to be the disaster that we thought London would be 4 years ago but, like in 2012, it all seems to be working out fine. In truth, it probably isn’t going as smoothly as London, and even the weather isn’t as good as we had, but the sport has eclipsed any logistical problems or little things like forest fires next to the hockey pitch or the diving pool turning green.
I don’t see how it can get any more exciting than tonight’s events in the velodrome, but who knows.
Yet again I have been enjoying sports that aren’t really sports, to the extent of forgetting that they shouldn’t belong in the Olympics. Let’s remember that the Olympic motto is “Faster, higher, stronger” and not “Faster, higher, stronger or better executed according to the subjective opinions of a panel of fallible judges” (And judges don’t much more fallible than the boxing judges today!)
Basically, if it can’t be measured then it shouldn’t count. I am not saying that gymnastics or diving is easy, because they are not. It is just that you might as well have trapeze, breakdancing, skateboarding or painting in the games, which are also not easy. And don’t get me started on dressage and synchromised swimming!
I’m also not sure about the inclusion of team games like football, though I have been enjoying the hockey and rugby sevens, and can’t see why there are quite so many different swimming events.
Mind you, didn’t the various original Greek games include poetry and philosophy?
But who cares really? I have been enjoying the kayak races, hockey, tennis and track cycling and this week I will probably enjoy the Taekwondo, badminton and mountain biking – anything to take my mind off West Ham’s disastrous start to the season.