Higher, Faster, Dopier
At some point in the middle of the night tonight, I’ll get up for a wee. It’s not just an age thing, it’s tradition on my holidays. I’ll bump into something, wake up Mrs. P and then pee into the bidet by mistake. Tradition.
Then I’ll get back into bed wide awake wondering when it will be time to get up and put some money in the parking meter to avoid another 15 Euro fine.
I love my holidays. They are so relaxing. They usually start with a rant at airport security over the number of people taken by surprise when asked to put liquids in a clear plastic case ( I think it’s high time this was part of the school curriculum). Then I tend to spend the first hour driving the hire car a little too far to the right (known as Faraging) much to the concern of Mrs P and a number of Mallorcan pedestrians.
Once all that’s out of the way, and we’ve remembered not to use the Italian for “the bill” that we learned during last year’s Roman holiday, I’ll start to properly relax with the help of my friend Miguel, San Miguel.
But there’s an added tension this time. This year’s hols have coincided with the start of a great sporting event – the Lympix. I love the Lympix. The last Lympix was especially wonderful being in the UK and that. We had Super Saturday, Terrific Tuesday and Fabulous Friday as the Brits racked up more gold than a speculator in the early days of Gordon Brown’s time as Chancellor
This time, I can only look forward to Wofeul Wednesdays and Miserable Mondays and it has nothing to do with the performance of the UK team as such.
These Lympix can’t be joyous. Russia are largely absent due to institutional doping. No, let me get that right. Being caught institutionally doping. One of Britain’s top medal hopes is unhappy that people are criticising her for missing three drug tests and escaping a ban and the men’s 100m could be won by a guy who has been banned for doping. Twice.
I have always loved the Lympix. In 1976, Britain won one track medal – a bronze. I determined that by 1980, we’d win more than that and I’d be responsible. It never happened.
The aspirational event that once inspired lots of kids to take up running, swimming and cycling is largely absent these days amid the competing demands of sponsors, TV companies and the IOC. When the IOC President during what seemed to be a day long press conference says these games will be the cleanest they could be, I have to remind myself that he let Russia compete despite overwhelming evidence that they bought the Sochi games with a cocktail of performance enhancing drugs and state chicanery.
During 2012, there was the case of the 1500 women and men’s finals. Six of the top 10 in the women's race have been found guilty of doping and in the men’s race, Taoufik Makhoulifi won despite pulling out of the 800m a day before with a “knee problem”.
And there were other instances were people were caught doping but what’s so sad now is that it is no longer a surprise. The Lympix are full of dopers, previous dopers, would be dopers and sad feckers who would never dope.
So how can I be excited? I can’t and it is symptomatic of the world we live in. Stupidity rules. The people we should most admire are the ones we are most suspicious of. Politicians, sports stars, Teletubbies.
I may go for a wee tonight but I won’t be tuning in to the opening ceremony of a terrible fraud. FIFA, UEFA and the IOC – you’ve stolen my love of sport and sold it for a crock off shit. Now, sorry but I need to wee…..
UPDATE: I’ve just seen that skateboarding will be in the next Lympix. Skateboarding. Not squash, skate-fucking-boarding. Remember the Staring World Championships on Big Train? That’s where we are heading.