Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Torture of Olympic Addiction Is Bringing Tears of Joy to My Eyes

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Torture of Olympic Addiction Is Bringing Tears of Joy to My Eyes

Article excerpt

Byline: MATTHEW NORMAN

ALMOST literally, it occurred yesterday morning as the first tears dribbled down the cheeks, the Olympic Games are a form of torture. Steel yourself like a captured soldier preparing to defy the interrogators though you may, they will destroy your resistance in the end.

Everyone has their own breaking point, and some will claim still to be impervious to their force.

Such stoics would probably point out that, for all the grandiose schmaltz about the 'Olympic ideal', the Games are a quadrennial bout of geopolitical willy-waving (China currently having the biggest willy of them all) organised to swell the profits of the US networks and such lovable 'partners' as McDonalds, Nike and Coca-Cola.

Such cynics are absolutely right, of course, and more arrant cobblers is talked about the Olympics than anything on earth.

That much-vaunted opening ceremony, for instance, may have been more cleverly designed than any before it, but it was still three times too long and six times too portentous, while to the 99.999999999 per cent of humans without tickets to an event nothing is more irrelevant than the splendour of the stadia or the smileyness of the volunteers.

The sporting action looks identical on TV regardless of the venue, after all, and might as well be held in a giant

B& Q depot near Cirencester as in Beijing or East London.

What the Olympics are primarily about, for the average viewer like me, is the irresistible power of patriotic pride.

This is why, as Nicole Cooke fought to the finish through very English driving rain yesterday and Rebecca Adlington stretched to victory by a fingertip in the 400 metres freestyle swimming this morning, the tears started to flow.

Admittedly I'd been weakened by sleep deprivation, a standard torture technique, having been up since 2am watching the Games. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.