A.J. Walker


A Surprisingly Enjoyable Olympics

Really quite enjoyed the Olympics with regard to some of the competition. As ever the cycling was particularly good from the UK (sorry, Great Britain & Northern Ireland) perspective. Not so great from the track & field side, but even there some success did come our way quite surprisingly (to me anyway).

Thought the GB did really well with their medal haul considering. And some of the reporting about it being lower than the previous two Olympics (at least in terms of Golds) were a bit too negative. The 2012 was a home one where all the stops were pulled out to win and the subsequent one in Rio obviously had the residual effect from the London one. But being fully nine years later the London Effect can no longer be expected to be quite as relevant.

I’m not a fan of the Lottery per se. I mean it seems to largely take the responsibility of funding from the government and put it in the hand of a company making money by encouraging gambling. It is morally dubious at best. But all that said the lottery funding of sports people and organisations has certainly provided a good lift to sports that otherwise would struggle to get funding.

The biggest difficulty with any Olympics is the time zones that impact on when events occur. But there’s not much that can be done about that (unless you are American and the big corps can encourage times that suit their advertisers). Sport is all about that moment. You want to watch it as it happens. I love watching a live footy match at a weekend (and the Premier League starts this weekend: Yippee!) but I wouldn’t sit through ninety minutes of a game that had finished earlier in the day; apart from re-runs of Istanbul 2005 or Barcelona, ‘Corner taken quickly, Origi!’

I managed to see some of the Olympics stuff live. But over half the stuff I watched wasn’t love. To be fair the BBC did a cracking job with their coverage IMHO. Apart from the cycling there was great stuff from the triathlon, boxing and swimming pool. Some of the middle distance male and female runners did a cracking job too.

Really hope the athletics can improve for the next Olympics as I grew up enjoying watching that with my parents. Dad was an enthusiastic middle distance runner in his youth and always loved watching the greats in the past - not just the British ones either. There’s something about the mile (or 1500 meters) and 800m, and the years of Coe, Ovett and Cram would be wonderful to repeat. Maybe one day.

Perhaps I should buy a lottery ticket to support(ish) a future middle distance great.

At least the next one is in Paris so time zones are not going to be an issue for this one. I can watch it all live (bar the sports that inevitably clash of course). Roll on, 2024.
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