Thursday, August 7, 2008

Beijing Preview: Swimming

It has to be done.

Sure you have heard great detail about the Olympic swimming over the last month.

Every time you open a paper, turn on the TV: Swimming.

Olympics coverage = swimming coverage.

This post could be yet another hypothetical "how many gold medals will Australia win in the pool?" or another puff piece about how "Leisel Jones turned her life around" or even more annoying "The traumas of having a long-distance relationship."

** Editors note, Are there really any traumas in a long distance relationship?? My experience suggests that the infrequent meetings are purely sexual, and not based on sitting on the couch watching McLeods Daughters..The other 75%+ of your free time is dedicated to your mates and watching sport. The TRAUMA.**

And the "Duel in the Pool" crap is not on here. In a lot of races, the Dutch, South Africans and Chinese will push Australia. If an Aussie can't win. Back the Jaaapie. If South African accents aren't funny as fuck at the best of times, wait until you hear one that is struggling to breathe.

Anyway, you know that this will be the highlight in terms of Australian gold medal tallies already.

If you are anything like me, you personally hate the sport but are a pretty hardcore patriot and this makes for must see viewing.

You probably also don't relate to the swimmers personally. You find their clean-cut lifestyle and lack of body hair disconcerting. You want more personality. More public urination. You probably would have sent in an application form for Nick D'Arcy to be Australian of the year if he didn't have one of those untrustworthy apostrophes in his name and had punched someone more deserving, like this guy:

But as it stands with all of the key injuries suffered by the athletics team, half of the events being rigged by China and the rest of the sports being really lame that this could be (in the words of Roy and HG) our worst games since Montreal*. As such swimming is going to be where most of our patriotic joy comes from.

In fact, if pubs offered free beer in the second week of the games for every gold medal won by Australia, there could be some damn happy publicans. And no one wants to see that.

Anyway some things to watch at the pool:

1. GOLD! Lots of sweet GOLD!

2. In a Happy Gilmore-esque moment, after winning silver Leisel Jones takes off the swimming equivalent of a skate and stabs a guy.

3. Dorky swimming celebrations. Who could forget the lamitude that was the air-guitar.

4. Ray Warren turns up in Max Walker fashion and demands to call the races.
I've got this big mother-fucking cricket bat that says: `I can'

5. Chinese women's swim team turn up looking like Chinese mens swim team. Speedo rep denies that the new suits add 20 kgs of muscle and a pair of testicles.

6. Some tight races. The 1500m swimming is boring as bat shit, right? Well, yes. But it should be close. Unlike 8 years ago when Grant Hackett could sit on the blocks after the race started and have a cigarette and a schooner before jumping in, this should be tight.

Anyway, it should be exciting. Unlike watching the Ashes series in England which made me come back to playing cricket, and the soccer World Cup making me take up soccer again, rest assured that when Grant Hackett wins another 1500, I won't be signing up for swimming lessons at 5:00AM. Swimming is teh suck.

* N.B. If Montreal has a real similarity to anything it is the Sydney games. Both games involved the building of a monstrosity of a stadium that no one ever wants to go to. For more information see the death of baseball in Montreal or the upcoming death of at least one Sydney league team.

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