DETERMINATION, dedication, sacrifice – all honourable things would you not say?
When I think about the Olympics these are the words that come to mind.
I’m a sport fan, both on and off the couch, and am looking forward to watching the world’s best competing in London.
What has surprised me is that some people who profess to be sport lovers aren’t excited about the Games – the usual author of this column for instance.
Barry Gibson, the Examiner’s favourite Ulsterman and an ardent Arsenal fan, has been deeply scathing about the Olympics, dubbing it “boring”.
He’s not alone.
His dismissive comments such as, “It’s just a bunch of people running or throwing things, there’s no team work or strategy” have been echoed by other colleagues, including some from the sports department.
I think these negative types are focussing on just the track and field elements as there are obviously dozens of team games at the Olympics too, including the much vaunted football.
When I point this out people usually grumble and shuffle off muttering.
The apparent lack of ‘strategy’ is something I suppose you could say of any solo sport. To the outsider it might just seem like a competitor just ran, swam, threw or cycled a bit harder than everyone else.
While there may not be too much strategy during the 9.6 seconds it takes Usain Bolt to dash 100m, I’m sure the big man from Jamaica would argue that his strategic genius comes in his training methods and race day preparations.
I’ve heard the strategy defence before when a friend explained to me why he liked rugby union more than rugby league – and again, I don’t get it.
Surely entertainment is more important than knowing the competitors on the winning team were slightly smarter than those on the losing team?