Someone, anyone, should tell me why we, the British public, are funding thousands of young and mature people in their personal dreams of ‘glory’ in Olympic sporting activities!
I heard this morning in a short broadcast, shorter than normal because I switched the damn voices off earlier than the end, of the prowess and training activities of some of the thirty-odd children who accompanied Sebastian Coe when he made his pitch to the International Olympic Committee in Singapore. Their addition to the cavalcade, replacing the usual politicians on tax-paid junkets, was regarded as a master-stroke of marketing. So we are in the midst of spending some £9,300,000,000, which is quite a rise frrom the original estimate of £2,300.000,000 on the beanfeast spread over seventeen days of the Olympics. Not forgetting the further seven or eight days during the Para- Olympics,when the sick and lame stagger round the track waving at their proud Daddies who incidentally will provide the majority of the audience for that portion of this extravaganza.
But what caught my attention was the entourage which makes up the training cohort for these self-absorbed clowns who all want their ‘moment of glory’. We have to provide a personal trainer, a sports coach, a dedicated medical team (shared) and of course a Mum or Dad who are convinced that their offspring must be the greatest to come down the highway towards that great red marker tape in the sky. We also heard of one young man who had ‘just’ finished outside of the qualifying times, and how his parents had ensured his retrial status (probably by blackmail or physical threats against the selectors). We also heard how he couldn’t even get out of bed early enough to arrive on time for a training event! Sounds to me as though they ought to be trained in how to behave as normal human beings first, and then to find out if they are any good at what ever they choose to do, whether it be lurching, strangling or drowning!
In my time, if any of my compatriots thought that they were any good at sports, they worked hard, got stuck in and never ever dreamed of ‘sponsorship’. It seems a far cry from todays little heroes, who won’t move a muscle until the funding is in place!
And, just as an afterthought, when was it first considered ‘acceptable’ to haul a list around an office or workplace, morally blackmailing all your colleagues to provide funding for some ‘charity’ under the name of ‘Sponsorship’, while performing some unusually sweaty activity which you would have done anyway because you enjoy it?
p.s. When I was approached by a colleague, while on an office-based contract, I told him just to leave me out; and the whispers about the tight-fisted contractor went around faster than any olympic record ever broken! Funny that!