Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Hard to Emerge from Haze

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Hard to Emerge from Haze

Article excerpt

SWANNELL

PETER SWANNELL

I AM emerging from the Olympic haze.

It's been nearly three weeks of not knowing whether the next headline news will be about a superb gold medal win or another act of violence from one of the world's most complex cities.

I had this uneasy feeling that Olympic Games were never meant to be like the Rio Games. Nonetheless, I was sucked in by the hype and lived in front of the box for much of the past few weeks.

Olympic Games were meant to be a venue for fierce but friendly competition between slightly abnormal human beings.

They weren't meant to be venues for ultra-super-ridiculous- pseudo-humans. I have in mind athletes like those gymnasts who do impossible things on horizontal bars or balance beams.

These creatures, notionally either male or female but actually neither, have bodies made up of parts that are inter-connected through joints that rotate in all directions at once.

They appear to be able to balance on a knife edge irrespective of the speed or complexity of what various bits of their bodies are doing.

It all appears to be second nature to them. They have probably spent 90% of every day of the first 20 years of their lives doing it. I feel quite sorry for them.

Rio has also taught me that it is impossible for two people to form

a doubles team, irrespective of the sport, unless they are willing to touch each other's hands between every point. This must be irrespective of whether the point is won or lost or which of the pair stuffed up.

Women playing beach volleyball seemed particularly good at this. Comparatively little time was spent actually playing the game but there was a hell of a lot of touching and consoling in what seemed to be a very strange way to get one's exercise.

I had much more sympathy for people like the Campbell sisters whose individual performances were over-shadowed by over-expectations. …

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