Ah. The Winter Olympics are upon us once again. I am waiting for Canberra’s hosting duties of the Autumn Olympics, as it really is a pretty city when the leaves change colour and clog up the drains.
Australia has never been the strongest competitor at the Chilly Games, and for good reason – we aren’t exactly renowned for our chilly climate. But that doesn’t stop us from having a good old go at skiing and shit every four years. After all, it’s more about being involved that pushing for Olympic gold and glory, right? Right.
That said, I was watching the coverage on the marvellous Channel 9 the other night when the head of Eddie Maguire was giving the results of the million-billion-kilometre biathlon race (or something). The biathlon is one of my favourite events at the Winterlympics – it combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting, whereby you have to hit a tiny little target after puffing your way around Canada for a while. It’s the kind of exertion that would make you vomit all over yourself and wonder what the hell you’re doing when you could quite easily just be in the pub vomiting on yourself and having way more fun.
Anyway, apparently some champion from Sweden or Norway or some frozen wonderland in the world broke a record by several hours (possibly minutes or seconds, the details escape me), before Eddie gives the best piece of “Go Aus!” I’ve heard since the Fortnight of Frosty Sports began:
“Jurgen Fnurgen of Sweden took gold in an upset from favourite Yorgen Vlaard of Norway who finished in the silver medal position, with Italian Mario Luigi collecting bronze, edging out Australian skier Wayne Digby who finished 77th out of 78 competitors with a time roughly equivalent to Halley’s Comet’s orbit.” Edging out indeed.
Well done, Wayne. I’m assuming you beat the guy from Tunisia who’s never seen snow, doesn’t own skis, threw rocks at the target instead of shooting and had to fight off six grizzly bears during his race.
I’m not saying that Wayne didn’t have a Pharlap’s-heart sized attempt at winning this race; I’m just wondering how big this edge is that Maguire will have us believe holds 76 better athletes than our home-grown trooper, Wayne. If it’s half as big as I think it is, the ice-dancing finals will truly be “edge of the seat” viewing.