Medals for Team GB: Bronze – Men’s Gymnastics team
In the 1950s stories abounded of young urchins standing on fruit boxes to catch a glimpse of a sporting event. They couldn’t see the whole thing, just a third of the pitch, but it was enough to justify the effort. It was similar when the ever-supportive and ever-accurate Daily Mail published stories of restricted view seating in the swimming venue which was only a problem for the 10m platform diving competition.
It’s also true of my Olympics to date. I’m seeing it in snippets. In some cases it’s not a problem: I don’t think I could sit through a whole handball trouncing at the hands of France or beach volleyball to the brilliant Brazilians. I don’t like the sport enough in the first place and a humiliating drubbing is too much. In other cases it’s that I can’t spare the time. There was a time, in the days when I had Sky Sports, when I could have watched until I fallen asleep. Now, family pressure is a convenient excuse.
Today I’ve listened to more than I’ve seen. Of Britain’s fantastic gymnastics team bronze I caught a glance at a disappointed Japanese man falling off a pommel horse and a beaming Brit walking off the Floor. I watched whole swimming semifinals but not a whole final including Spofforth and Tancock’s moments. At the crucial moments I was drawn away by much more important activities – running, draining rice and Coronation Street. Even on the radio I heard glowing reports of Tom Daley and The Other One looking on course for Gold after three dives before reading the ‘what happened next’ on the BBC Sport website.
Currently it looks like we’ve misunderstood the medal objective. We’re not going to do it by consistently finishing 4th in each event.