Make way for Friday’s and Saturday’s sports pages – maybe Bertie, the bollocks, will have an exclusive on it, claiming that we’re guaranteed medals galore at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics – courtesy of Padraig Harrington and Katie Taylor.
The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meet in Berlin this Thursday and Friday where they will make a final decision on which two new sports to be included in the 2016 Olympics Games, by which time half of us will be dead anyway so it won’t matter a fuck.
Squash, rugby union, golf, karate, roller sports, softball and baseball are all vying for two berths at the 31st Olympiad, which will be held in either Chicago, Toyko, Rio de Janeiro or Madrid.
Rio? How can Brazil afford to host major sporting events when hundreds of thousands of people are living in cardboard boxes?
According to an informed source, a drunk I met last night, sevens rugby is one of the favourites to get the green light. But is sevens rugby really rugby? Rugby is big hairy-arsed carnivores slaughtering each other up front, incidental to the ball. After a few minutes frantically trying to disembowel each other they release the egg to the backs who scamper off, scoring tries and drop-goals and other things. Sexy things. Some people use these scores as a sort of barometer on whether you won or lost the game.
Sevens rugby meantime, looks like the subbuteo version.
Golf is another favourite, along with squash. Personally, I’d prefer to watch paint drying on the backdoor than watch golf, but each to their own, although I would have issues with multi millionaire golf players being allowed to compete at the Olympic Games.
Note how the Yanks are trying to pull a fast one by nominating baseball. Everyone knows that only four countries play the game seriously: the US, Canada, Japan and Cuba. Where’s the universality? They haven’t a snowball’s.
Karate and softball. What the fuck is softball? I doubt it. And as for roller – sports. As John McEnroe might exclaim, “you can’t be serious,” – although considering they have Synchronized Swimming classified as a sport, the IOC are obviously capable of anything — even re-classifying dwarf tossing.
Meanwhile, describing rugby as a “new” Olympic sport is disingenuous – even the watered down sevens version. The oval ball game was an Olympic sport in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924. Unbelievably, the Yanks won it twice, in 1920 and 1924. The French won it in 1900, followed by the Aussies in 1908. However, rugby lost its Olympic status after the 1924 Games, mainly because it couldn’t attract a sufficient quota of teams.
Meantime, Ireland could be guaranteed at least one medal at the 2012 Olympiad in London if the IOC give women’s boxing the green light in Berlin on Thursday. It’s expected that the female version of the noble art will make its debut in the English capital over 100 years after men’s boxing became an Olympic sport at the 1904 Games in St Louis. Paddy Powers bookmakers are so confident that women’s boxing will get the go ahead they’re laying odds of 1/10 on that its going to happen and 5/1 against.
They’re also offering short odds of 4/7 that Ireland’s Katie Taylor will be the only Irish athlete to win gold in 2012. Taylor,23, is the current World, European and European Union lightweight champion and the 2008 World female boxer of the year. She has won 60 of her last 61 fights.
Other than that she’s useless.
We need new sports to be introduced to the Olympic programme to enhance our chances of improving our medal haul. How about a introducing a 200-metre sprint – except that you have to down five pints of the black stuff before you cross the line, whilst reciting Yeats and knocking out a beat on a bodhran. Amhrán na bhFiann would be resounding across the Olympic village then alright.
Porter-swilling aside, since we competed for the first time as an independent nation – even though the Olympic movement in Ireland is a 32-county venture – at the 1924 Games, we have won a measly eight gold, seven silver and eight bronze medals. We’re in 51st position in the all time medals won table. The USA are number one with 2,298 medals.
Unfortunately, three of our gold medals were claimed by the swimmer Michelle Smith, whose triple gold and one bronze at the ’96 Games still stands as she did not test positive for anything in Atlanta. However, she was handed a four year ban for tampering with a urine sample in 1998. She still insists to this day that she did nothing wrong – despite the fact that the only way you’d get an Irish swimmer to win an Olympic medal up to that point would be to unleash a Barracuda in their lane. Thankfully, she retired soon after taking the piss. But the embarrassment didn’t stop there.
At the 2004 Olympic Games, Cian O’Connor was stripped of his Olympic gold after his mount, Waterford Crystal, was found with performance enhancing drugs in its system, the fucking horse.
In light of the above, hats off to welterweight Michael Carruth. His top of the podium finish at the 1992 Games in Barcelona is the last genuine gold we won, 17 years ago.
Pat O’Callaghan, a hammer thrower, won two golds at the 1928 and 1932 Games in Amsterdam and Las Angelus, while Bob Tisdale bagged gold in the 400m hurdles, also in Las Angelus. Ronnie Delaney won our last gold in track and field after he left the rest of the world in his slip stream in the 1500m in Melbourne in 1956.
But that’s about it when it comes to Irish athletes finishing on top of the rostrum folks.
I predict that sevens rugby and golf, yawn, will get the nod from the IOC for 2016. Squash, not a bad game at all, at all, has an outside chance.