Rio has confirmed it to me. The Olympics is the best thing ever. I used to prefer the World Cup, but footballers are so annoying and there’s so much more going on at the Olympics. Drama and emotion, daily stories of incredible skill and commitment.
Watching Claire Balding over-enthuse about everything as we switch from sport to sport has made my summer. The BBC’s coverage is like a big colourful cosy blanket over your shoulders. And then there’s the actual sport itself. For every well-paid global superstar there’s a farmer or a plumber (there was definitely a farmer in the shooting, not sure if there were actually any plumbers..), ordinary people extraordinarily dedicated to straining every hamstring for their Golden dream.
There’s awesome stuff like track cycling. Weird stuff like dancing horses and modern pentathlon. The stuff that shouldn’t really be there like golf and football. Stuff that looks rubbish on telly but they show it anyway like water polo or fencing. Fascinating stuff you’d never watch at any other time like archery. And then there’s handball – surely the world’s most rubbish team sport.
So what if it’s a big overblown money-spinning circus plagued by drug cheats. So what if the amateur ideal has long been irrelevant. And every amazing performance is loudly celebrated and quietly suspected. The whole thing is one long jamboree of epic proportions imbued with the ambience of its host city. The Olympic spirit is undampenable.
These were some of my favourite stories/moments. It’s been a blast Rio!
Trott and Kenny. The golden couple. Proof that winners don’t have to be tossers.
Bolt. The big man. The main man. The greatest of all time. All round good guy and the closest Earth will ever come to an actual superhero.
Lutalo Muhammad. One second to go. One second. Concentrate, concentrate, concen…Oh SHIT!
Shaunae Miller. How to pull it out of the bag when you realise you’re about to come second.
The diving pool turns into a ‘perfectly safe’ radioactive green toxic swamp.
Lee Eun-ju of South Korea and Hong Un-jong of North Korea. Best selfie ever.
Phelps. 23!! That’s just greedy.
Lochte. We’ve all been there. You hit the town with your mates, get steamed, smash a toilet door, lie to your mum about it… lie to the world’s media and Brazilian police about it, have to take it all back, say sorry and look like a dick in front of pretty much the whole world.
Qin Kai proposes to He Zi. You can say no…no pressure..
Team GB awesomeness. More medals than France, Germany, Australia and many other nations we vaguely enjoy beating.
Totally unrelatedly, I was finishing off my son’s instant porridge in Costa the other day, and to my surprise I really rather enjoyed it. It was nutty, sweet with honey, warm and comforting, pleasantly lumpy like risotto.. So why not a savoury version?
Well it seemed like a good idea at the time.. Pea and courgette oat-sotto with a stock cube, parmesan, parsley butter and a few drops of lemon juice. Easy, healthy, risotto-y and a bit strange.
Ingredients: instant porridge, stock, peas, courgette, butter, parsley, parmesan, lemon