My earliest recollections of the Winter Olympics are Innsbruck 1964. This was the year when Tony Nash and Robin Dixon came from the brink of elimination to win the Gold medal for Great Britain, in the two man bobsleigh. Fast forward to Vancouver and the 2010 winter olympics, the chances of a Gold medal in any event is as likely as MP’s giving up their expenses. Admittedly the intervening years have thrown up Torville and Dean, Robin Cousins, John Curry and the Scottish Ladies Curling team (insert your own joke here). Hardly a large haul for almost 50 years of effort.
I find myself wondering, what is the point? If you go to the official site and check the results section you will see that the suffix “th” features very heavily. As in ‘10th’, 34th’ ….. No 1st, 2nd, or 3rd’s to be seen anywhere. How much has it cost to send these no hopers out to Canada? Aside from the traditional events, we now have the “Yoofs” in various Ski and Snowboard action, it will be the 10 metre Snowball face off next, or the Speed Snowman Building.
Amy Williams has now turned me from sneering critic to supporter in less than 54 seconds, about the time it took her to hurtle head first down an ice slide at 140 Kmh. This unassuming young woman became the first individual Gold medallist since Robin Cousins in 1980 and the first for anything other than ice skating. However once the euphoria wears off it will still be only 10 Golds for a 100 years of effort. Is it money well spent? I expect Amy and her Mam and Dad will say yes. I’m not so sure.
Right I’m off to practice Synchronised Gritting, it’s the coming thing don’t you know.