So it is nearly time to stop grumbling about the expense, and the traffic disruption, and the inability of multinational companies to recruit security guards, and get on with some actual sport. I am genuinely excited about the Olympics. The Olympics is, I think, my favourite delivery format for sport, and this is from a woman who has a fully considered opinion on Andy Murray’s best chance of winning a grand slam (would have thought US, but maybe Wimbledon after all), and on the relative merits of a range of England strikers (Wayne Rooney – increasingly overrated).
The Olympics has a sense of the village fete sports day that you don’t get with those other big sporting events. You’ve got your Usain Bolt, but you’ve also got your modern pentathletes, archers, mountain bikers, and table tennisificators. And it’s that mix of different events that makes the Olympics so utterly brilliant.
This year I shall be mainly cheering for Team Grenada. Of course. Because of how I am Grenadan. Which, actually, I’m not. No. The reason for cheering for Team Grenada is entirely financial. My nephew’s school are running a fund-raising Olympic raffle, in which “winning” ticket holders are allocated an Olympic nation. Prizes are given to the ticket holders whos countries achieve the most Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals. I got Grenada. Hurrah! Go Grenada! Go Grenada!
In order to best support my newly adopted nation, I’ve had a little look at their previous Olympic performances. It turns out that Grenada didn’t actually win any medals in Beijing, or in Athens, or in Sydney, or, indeed, at any of the Olymipcs they’ve competed at since their first Games in 1984. I’m not daunted by this fact though. Sure. I may have to be a little bit realistic. Probably we’re going to be competing for the prize for Most Bronze medals rather than Most Golds but I still think that’s totally doable.
The team with the most bronze medals in Beijing was the USA, who took home 36 bronze medals. Admittedly, the Grenadan team this year consists of just ten athletes, but I’m not letting that dissaude me from the potential glory ahead. And that, right there, is the brilliance of sport. Being a armchair sport addict is, in the end, all about hope. It’s about maintaining the belief that this year will be different in the face of all evidence to the contrary. It’s about knowing that it’s not over until the fat lady blows the whistle or the referee sings (or something like that), and then, even when it is over, regrouping and coming back and doing it all again. Hope is what makes watching sport so seductive, and is why I remain entirely confident of scooping raffle glory. I’ll be there. Bum on sofa. Olympic themed nibbles on lap. TV and laptop fired up to facilitate multi-event viewing, and Grenada will bring home those medals for me. Probably. Go Team Grenada!
So there you go – week one of my promise to blog every Monday, and I’m totally doing it. Hurrah! As ever, please do commenting and following and all that stuff. Are you excited about the Olympics? Do you fall over with boredom when Match of the Day comes on the telly? Are you a unusually big fan of Grenada? I warmly encourage you to tell us about any, or all, of the above (or about anything else that is flitting through your mind) down there in the comments.