By a Newsnet reader
I’ve been practicing for four years to write this article and the training, sacrifice and hardship has all been worth it.  It’s Olympic Night fever and I’m just about staying alive, despite not having been selected for team GB. 

Never mind, I didn’t want a knighthood anyway – Chris and Steve can keep them, and it’s only a matter of time before Sir Bradley of Wiggins joins them.

I get writer’s cramp and I’d have failed the random drugs test – caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.  I remember the pundit who once insisted that anyone caught taking drugs should get “hammered”.

Chris, Steve and Bradley, have now amassed seventeen Olympic medals between them and with the flying Scot, as he is known, aiming for his sixth gold, that total looks to be about to increase - just as the screeching commentary will.

Judging by the size of the medals, Hoy will win another if he manages to stand upright wearing them all.

Sadly though, I’ve now caught the Olympic hee-bee gee-bees.  I used to enjoy the Olympics, but this one has left me cold.  The continual reference to something called team GB has all but destroyed any enthusiasm I may have had for the four year parade of marginal pastimes that masquerade as Olympic sports.

Archery, beach volleyball, rowing, canoeing, shooting, horse-riding and yachting are pastimes the more energetic amongst us get up to on holiday.  I half expect sun-bathing to be decreed an Olympic sport the way the circus is going.

“It’s been a fantastic day for team GB”, some screeching loon tells us every night as another person we have never heard of beats several more unknowns in a ‘sport’ that we don’t want to watch.

Apparently golf is to be introduced in four years time.  Will caddies be subject to drug tests?  Will pitch and putt or crazy golf be next?

“I can’t believe it” said Charlie McCoo, “My dad took me to Rothesay when I was six and I always dreamt of knocking the ball through the windmill, over the ramp, and off the dugs arse into the hole to win gold.”

Sadly McCoo was later disqualified after admitting to warming his balls by dipping them in hot water prior to his round to prevent chaffing.

At least with golf you can tell who has won.  Yachting is a nightmare for everybody – who the hell is in front?

“Ben Ainslie's Danish rival Jonas Hogh-Christensen is public enemy No 1” the Telegraph newspaper told readers in a headline.  Ainslie is a ‘team GB’ yachtsman who apparently pops up every four years to win a gold medal racing other yachtsmen; he has won a gold medal at each of the last three Olympics.

The cost of the yachts is probably enough to ensure the field is limited to a select few, and if Ben makes it four gold medals then expect another knighthood.

The track and field has started, so expect the screeching to continue as team GB rack up even more medals.  I can’t name one single athlete in the GB team, not one. 

Actually, come to think of it I don’t think we have any, they are all working for the BBC as pundits.  Brendan Foster is there again, he was at the first ever Olympics in Athens. 

Lord Coe is running the entire affair and has recruited the rest of the workshy House of Lords to fill seats at the hockey matches.  Apparently most Londoners have escaped to Scotland to get away from the whole sorry spectacle.

It will be over soon though, and team GB’s gold medals can be melted down and sold in order to pay off the debt incurred through having to host the UK Games (that’s what they’ll be known as when the losses are calculated). 

Lord Coe will return to the House of Lords and fill more empty seats at considerable public expense.  Lord Hoy and Baron Wiggins will appear in “I’m an Olympian – Get me out of here” and will be forced to eat maggots. 

On the subject of food, my Chinese take-way has just arrived, and I’m suspicious as they’ve knocked a whole two minutes off the previous fastest delivery time.  Cause for a dope test?  No, they’re just efficient.

But on the subject of dope, spare a thought for the Herald sports journalist Doug Gillon who thinks Scotland should remain part of the Union in order to allow athletes to compete in Olympic relay races, thus enhancing their chances of a medal.  Doug obviously hasn't spotted that Scotland aren't competing at these Olympics - not if you believe Channel 4 who informed everyone that "England" are now third in the Olympic medal table.

Doug was joined by Alf 'Tupper' Young over at the Scotsman who grabbed the Unionist baton from Doug.

This must be the lamest pro-Union argument yet.  But the Herald will surely outdo it given the news last week that Magnus Gardham, formerly of the Daily Record, has joined the Herald team as its new political editor.

Will the Herald still be here in four years, will the Scotsman and more importantly will team GB?  Hopefully I will, and I'll write another article.


# UpSpake 2012-08-04 07:51
Oh for a dedicated Olympics channel whereby those dyed in the wool addicts can indulge their dreams to their hearts content.
Trying to obtain any news means Al Jeezera or RT or any other channel you can find which will actually give you - News ?.
I'm not rivetted by the Olympics and did not even watch the opening ceremony. Sanpshots of someone crossing a line is OK as is watching a golfer pot a shot. More than that and my attention span wanders. I have a life and I have an interest but not in wall to wall sport all day, every day.
A scary world is out there and our focus is all on Team GB, whatever that is ?.
# Macart 2012-08-04 08:15
Keep up the training Newsnet reader and someday you too can aspire to the 10m wheeze team (roughly the distance of car to front door) of which I am replacement for the replacement bucket boy.

Nice article and bang on the money. Team GB is no argument for better together. The rest of the country gets switched onto sport as an entertainment, it doesn't pay the bills for the home or sort out capital spending. It doesn't provide funding for the NHS or provide a solution to democratic deficit.

Watching these gifted athletes does bring a swell of pride, I'll grant you, but only so much as 'the hometown boy/girl done well'. I'll feel even more proud when they march into stadia carrying the saltire before them.
# xyz 2012-08-04 09:50
Team GB is a good argument for independence - We are not represented in the Olympics - Why is there no team Scotland?

We watch as medals are won by Scots only to be claimed for the Brutish imperial project of team GB, expunging our international profile, denying our existence.

We don't see China claiming the medals won by Hong Kong.

Even Palestine has a team and there is no country of Palestine at the moment.

There are 11 non-countries competing in the Olympics according to this article:
# bouzirouge 2012-08-04 10:12
ho ho ho, good article. i'm stuck here in france. no olympic couverage to speak of thank god. unless you want to listen/watch live online. how come i can get wall to wall live olympics on the beeb but can't listen to brian's big debate a day after it went out? surely no bias so it must be a technical fault?
# Welsh Sion 2012-08-04 11:28
More evidence of the Union dividend:

Westminster's Department of Culture and Sport revealed to Hywel Williams MP (Arfon, Plaid Cymru) that Welsh companies won £573,678 of building contracts for the Olympics. This compares with £5.1 billion for English companies, £22m for Scottish companies and £17m for Northern Irish companies. Companies outwith the UK obtained £12m worth of building contracts.

Correction: the ODA figures are even more shocking.

Thanks for your support, xyz.
# xyz 2012-08-04 11:41
Shocking stuff . .talk about crumbs, we got crumbs, but Wales got the crumbs from the crumbs.
# Breeks 2012-08-04 12:09
£3.3 million for the London Pleasure Garden. Good Lord!!! How much to Halfords charge for spray paint in London???
# Frankly 2012-08-04 12:27
On the subject of 'Team GB' and related matters:
# Talorgan 2012-08-20 20:43
Those of you who fund the State Broadcaster have had a rough summer. What with the Jobbylee, the Limp-Icks and some football tournament in Eastern Europe you've been having British Nationalism rammed down your throats left and right and have paid for the privilege. I feel quite sorry for you.

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