The village of Gordon (pop 415) has never seen a traffic jam like it. A dozen police motorcycle outriders, beeping happily and waving at the crowd (how do those colossal bikes stay upright at 2mph)? Then several anodyne beige minibuses with the squiggly Olympic logo, blowing exhaust fumes at the schoolchildren. One had a cardboard scribble saying ‘Olympic torch 6 minutes behind!’ in a back window.
Then a large, utterly naff bus covered in Coca-cola logos with some embarrassed looking dancers in David Bowie jumpsuits jogging up and down trying to stay warm. Followed by an even larger behemoth from Samsung, complete with bellowing DJ and a massive TV screen on the side showing David Beckham winking at the flag-wavers.
Next, an appropriately clapped out 1950’s vintage bus advertising the Bank of Scotland, with acolytes topping up the crowd’s pointless biro collections.
Then, was this the torch finally? No! A section of real traffic appeared to have got caught up in the cavalcade. A rusting flat-back lorry, a rumbling machine from Scottish Borders Council, and three cars, their drivers fuming at the delay. Then, at last a beaming young man carrying the torch. A dinghy sailor, I think.
So there it was, my first hand experience of the Olympics. A shoddy, overblown, expensive-looking bandwagon, both tasteless ands pointless, with only a tiny kernel of sporting endeavour at the fag end of the jamboree.
Britain used to be an honest sporting nation. We pummelled our consciences over amateurism. We frowned on cheating and diving. We did it for nothing, or in the big sports took money only from those who wanted to pay.
Now we’re involved in the biggest scam of all – taking taxpayers money and buying Olympic medals in ‘sports’ we think no-one else will compete in. Bicycling, sailing, rowing (the South Koreans have already nicked archery). Anything real amateurs or people from poor countries can’t afford to do.
Well, that’s enough of that for me. Back to real sport in Poland and Ukraine!