Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What is it with “Sport”?

At work I am astonished that colleagues are getting up every day at 3am in order to watch live Olympic events. Others race off home at night in order to spend their entire evenings watching “wall to wall” sport.

People have come to work genuinely excited and pleased at the British sporting successes to date.

Personally, I am only vaguely interested in watching the actual races and competitions. I am more concerned with China and its human rights record, while fascinated with the interaction of the female Russian soldier who won gold in the shooting event (of all things) and the Georgian who gained silver.

I am somewhat pleased when Brits do well but the prospect of actually watching the stuff fills me with horror.

I live within walking distance of the London Olympic site and have volunteered to “help out” at the 2012 games. But this support is really because of the massive regeneration benefits that I hope East London will gain from hosting the Olympics.

Perhaps this is genetic? My lovely eldest sister is a professional gymnastics coach who I know to my cost will be glued to her telly for the next few weeks. Amongst my earliest memories are of fighting with her to turn off tennis on the TV in order to try and watch cartoons (she won). She happens to be my half-sister since her biological Mum died when she was a toddler.

Or is it “environment”? At school it was definitely an advantage to be “good at sports”. I have also come across many people who when you first meet them will ask as a matter of course which football team do I support. When I reply, “none” they are genuinely flustered about what to say next. Why do certain countries with small populations such as Austrialia do so relatively well?

Is the love of sports the new “opium of the people”? I have come across arguments from the “left” attacking sports because of this. However, many seriously religious folk and loads of “far left” are equally in awe of “Sport”.

I was put in my place this morning by a work colleague who had been up since 3am to watch the live Olympics. She responded to my stated incomprehension on “why” by stating “John it must be very similar to your love of trade unions – when you go on about such things I just don’t get it. But I just love watching the Olympics as much as you love your unions”.

So maybe it’s not genetic or environmental perhaps it’s just me?


Robert said...

When you think that a little girl is not pretty enough to sing it does make you wonder.

I love watching sport, this is not sport

ian said...

Come on John let your hair down a bit. Sport is good.
You sound a bit like Enver Hoxha in wanting to view all sport as bourgeous (have I spelt that right?) deviationism!!


John Gray said...

Hi Robert
To misquote Clausewitz does China regard Sport as a continuation of politics by other means

John Gray said...

Hi Ian
Sport is good? Bah! Humbug!

Anonymous said...

Obviously its people with jobs that require zero attention and application to perform them...what line of business are you colleagues in who can go to work so tired? Bet they are doing a great job?

Robert said...

I said to my grandson watch this bloke lift this weight, it will be a record, he said hold on he is a women, I had to take second look and could only tell by her name.

What ever she has been talking has worked she had some balls.