I love the Olympics (warts and all)
No event with Justin Gatlin in it has the right to call itself ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’. Hell, no event with dopey cyclist Lizzie Armitstead (right) in it should be so described either.
Drug cheats like American sprinter Gatlin should be banned from the Olympics for life.
Even Brits, like the unrepentant Monaco-based Armitstead, who are stupid enough to miss three drug tests when they should be ultra-careful in the biggest year of their lives, shouldn’t be allowed to compete a few months later either.
Imagine the furore if a Russian had avoided suspension by employing fancy lawyers. In fact well done to those in charge of the Paralympics who took the honourable decision to ban in their entirity, countries who indulge in statesponsored doping.
There’s also no way the pampered millionaires from the world of golf should be taking part in an Olympic Games. If it was an amateur golf event then fair enough, but the Olympics isn’t for those with mansions, fast cars and yachts, even though they’ve won nothing of significance.
It’s the same with tennis. Andy Murray proved in the Davis Cup he’s a supreme patriot, but why on earth was he carrying the GB flag at the opening ceremony?
Why not let someone like unheralded swimmer Hannah Miley have the honour for the considerable feat of competing in her third Olympics.
I can’t get excited about synchronised diving (well done Daniel Goodfellow for putting up with his publicityhungry partner so successfully though) either and they dole out too many medals in gymnastics, shooting and cycling.
It’s also true that I will watch the athletics and be suspicious of every winner in every race and throwing event.
And yet I love the Olympics. I watched fencing rather than live Championship football on the TV last Sunday.
I was transfixed by that cycling road race course with its stunning views and obvi- ous element of danger even though, sadly just like those commentating on it, I had no clue re tactics or the technical expertise required.
There’s something quite inspiring about watching unknown Brits, who specialise in events I’d never normally watch, bust a gut for their country.
They are not fancy-dan show-off footballers who kiss club crests with fake sincerity.
There is no danger of our fencers, swimmers and rowers avoiding the opportunity to represent their country because they have a minor knock or there’s not enough money in it for them. If a footballer had fallen like gymnast Ellie Downie he’d have been off for a fortnight ready to have a danger money clause inserted into his contract.
In fact the vast majority of the Olympic team are the perfect antidote to the England football team.
The summer Euros were a joyless affair. The GB team in Rio is populated by athletes for whom ‘playing’ for their country is the ultimate experience.