Aug 08

Olympic Avoidance Log 2008: Day One – Rowing

FT + TMFD2 comments • 175 views

I hate the Olympics. But it is everywhere (except for the fencing), so it is very easy to accidentally stumble across it. In the last Olympics I managed a personal best of racking up less than an hour of viewing, but I hope to beat it this time. However occasionally I get tricked into watching some by virtue of something interesting happening. It is rarely the sport itself.

This morning it was an explosion at the rowing. Initially I was doubly excited. Finally the truth would be discovered that rowers actually rely on little motors under the boat. However it wasn’t that. Instead John Inverdale’s cro-magnon visage was explaining (by pointing) that the machine that made little bubbles to mark the finish line had blown up. Indeed behind him was clouds of thick smoke (admittedly difficult to distinguish from the smog) and a black smudge hole in the Olympic rings. Inverdale was predicting that this would soon be replaced, praising Chinese efficiency. I was just goggling at:
a) the fact they use a bubble machine to mark the finish line
b) that bubbles are seen to be rigourously accurate enough to MARK a finish line
c) that they got a shonky machine which on the first day of use blew up
d) that John Inverdale had not run off scared of the FIRE DRAGON, perhaps to run back to his cave to draw with the juice of some berries the trauma of the event.

Anyway, whilst marvelling at all of this, I saw a bit of a womens skulling pair race in which the hot favourites, the Chinese were pushed into, er, first place by the Czech’s and the Brits “would be disappointed with that”.


  1. 1
    Philip Straton on 10 Aug 2008 #

    Just some general information :) Rowing with two blades is referred to as “sCulling” – with a “C”, not with a “K” as you spelt it in your post :)

  2. 2
    Pete Baran on 10 Aug 2008 #

    My Olympic hatred makes me think of horrible things like skulls.

    Rowing was the only sport I ever did at a competitive level, as a cox (which is the most skillful / least athletic member of an eight). I was light, and had a loud voice. However my steering was abysmal (not something that would actually be a problem in Olympic rowing as the courses are all dead straight so I would be surprised if the boats had rudders at all).

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