Today, or was it yesterday, the Olympic Flame arrived here in the Republic. Why it’s here at all I’m uncertain since the Games are being held in London. But here it is. And Oh Boy is it doing the rounds with every half-baked celeb’ and medalists from previous games through far more places than truly decent.
We in Ireland are sporty. This not to be mistaken for the English usage of the term with lass or gal, added. We are sporty as in fanatical. We leave the place just a few years ago and we take up games that simply couldn’t occur here, and not just play, but excel. There are sayings that Africans and ice don’t mix. But where the hell did the Irish get so good that they could field from the current draft in the Stanley Cup about four good teams at least. The only game in the US that we’re not cutting a proper dash is basketball and that’s only a matter of time since the girls are busy at the moment breeding for tall. Surfing and skiing wouldn’t be the first thing you’d think Irish but for some unknown reason once we get to a snow-covered hill we turn into redheaded freckly Swiss and the surfing was developed by an Irish lad.
There are a few sports that we don’t seem to play. Fencing was one but the guys and gals at Notre Dame are on that. And ’til very lately Cricket wasn’t one of ours, but that’s been taken care of also.
Myself, I was never what you’d call dedicated to sports due to health issues. This was not to say I didn’t do sports I very much did. But I did athletics and I was quite good at sprints and the long jump. Sports that didn’t need that much puff. Team sports I could never sustain for after about five minuets I would feel like I was drowning. It’s only been very lately that I can sustain a 40 mile bike ride. But I could walk to Cape Town. Odd that.
Now I consider many things sport that others wouldn’t. Synchronized diving is I believe quite hard for not only have you to give a perfect jump but this has to match the fellow alongside you. That has to be hard. Even the synchronized swimming I expect is difficult. And table tennis is far more fun to watch than the lawn version. Vicious little weasels. And canoeing, now that’s something. Golf, No. No no no no. This isn’t sport for the Olympics. You may as well add horse racing then. Ditto rugby. Water-polo, for heavens sakes, that’s just an error. And I’m far from certain the chick with the tape should be part of the opening ceremony. As a man, anything with gunfire and arrows is good, phssssve, buuuuuut, no, not a sport.
Powerboating, will someone hand me a sick bag. Talk about a hobby for rich shits. Chess, as much as I like it, is not a sport. Mountaineering, well maybe, but I doubt it. While orienteering, why ?, when everyone and his mother has a satnav. Why the heck are we not sending a bunch of boats out with nothing other than a log and a sextant then. And the luge, you cannot but admire a lass that hurtled down a shoot at 90mph two inches above the surface on a tea-tray.
Recently I heard that the ‘sport’ of cheerleading was attempting to get the nod from the IOC. Well what next. Why not ballet. Or even poledancing. Now that’s a one that has a huge following. And not in the way you’d think either.
There around Easter I was visiting people for a, well soiree. -I don’t know what else to call it.- Anyhow we about thirty of us were downstairs in a tiger mansion. A large area extended from a family room towards full length french doors. The ceiling was the same level but there was a drop down four steps into what could only be called a mini-ballroom. Towards the back but in the middle was a stainless steel pole looking for all the world like it was part of the room supports. But no, later in the evening we were treated to an exhibition with the wife and daughters gymnastic-ing on the thing. I was uncertain, but it seems that it was/is all the rage. And without a doubt impressive.
I was standing beside a woman I vaguely knew. At a point when one of the girls had grip of the pole about mid-thigh and was table flat horizontal, slowly descending down the fifteen feet with a slight rotation, she half turned and murmured ‘ I’d be real impressed if she could go up it like that’. I darn near choked as did everyone in earshot.
I’m looking forward to London 2012