All The Sports

All The Sports

Watching the Olympics shows just how many sports there are, and surprises in that a lot of them are actually quite fun to watch.

I'm not a sports person. I hated it at school, the massive bias towards team sports was a big turn off - I'm just not interested, and team sports are perfect for bullies, authoritarians and psychopaths to do their thing with little comeback. I was bullied so this was a big factor. I remember the crushing fear and anxiety on days we had physical education, the kind with no workarounds, only a distant knowledge (hope!) that at some point the lesson would be in the past. As soon as I could I avoided anything to do with sport.

Fast forward to an unfit adulthood and I joined a gym because come on, it won't be like school. It wasn't! It was fantastic, and I discovered weightlifting. No stupid rules, no running about in the rain and no nasty little psychopaths screaming at you.

I've been watching the weightlifting during the Olympics, along with the other strength sports like discus and shot put in the main arena, and discovered a bit of a frustration with the official coverage. I'm not sure if it's OBS (the Olympic broadcaster) or BBC (for I am in the UK) but the weightlifting has been dropped or cut short a few times to show extra sailing events and other things, and a lot of the discus wasn't shown at all.

There was a lot of coverage of runners walking about, runners looking at things, runners warming up (note: not actually running) and all the while in the background you can see the discus event going on, right next to them. Running is fine and whatever, but this felt unfair and unreasonable. I whinged about it on Twitter (of course) but wasn't sure how much this affected other less well-known sports. Were kayak events not shown in favour of football or tennis, say?

Running, football, rugby, tennis, etc. get a lot of commercial coverage anyway. There's always talk of what the 'Olympic legacy' is going to be, and I think that part of it could, could be to send the message there are more sports out there than the ones you hated at school. If I'd had a chance to see and try weightlifting as a kid I'd have been far healthier far sooner in life. After this Olympics is over, the weightlifting, wrestling, BMX, fencing, gymnastics (so much there), judo, archery, whitewater events and so on might as well not exist as far as TV schedules go, and that's a crying shame. It's not much of a legacy is it?