Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Four years ago when the Olympics were in Sydney, I think I was asleep or something when the ticket draws were on, and I just never really considered actually going. It all looked too expensive and I had forgotten (just like this time) that I always get sucked in to the Olympics (see earlier post!).

When they started in Sydney I watched the first couple of days and then decided that I wanted to go. I managed to book frequent flyer flights (a miracle in itself) and then get some tickets to a day at the athletics. All we were to see was some heats, some heptathlon events, and the finish of the women's walk. Australia wasn't rated a chance, so we went off to the stadium with no expectation of seeing Australia win anything, we were just excited about tasting the Olympic atmosphere. And the atmosphere was great - I absolutely loved it. Then they started showing the closing stages of the walk on the big screen and an Australian was winning! The excitement in the stadium gradually built to a frenzy when the crowd realised that despite getting tickets on the day that nobody else wanted to go - we were going to see and Aussie gold medal winning performance! The crowd were beside themselves when Jane Saville turned into the entrance to the stadium. They were on their feet and screaming. And then when that bastard official waved that red paddle at her the whole crowd was devastated. I walked away that day having decided that the walk was by far the stupidest event the Olympics had - being so incredibly subjective.

So, I shed a tear this morning when I watched the replay of the bronze medal presentation to Jane Saville in Athens. She was so emotional. What determination. What courage. What a ridiculous sport.

Note that my favourite bit about the whole day at the athletics was when they put out and brought in the hurdles. The officials placed them around the track in a routine synchronised to the "Baby Elephant walk" and it was hilarious. That should be an official event.


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