Gossip from Olympic squad training camp comes in the form of Olivia Vivian's latest blog entry. It's nice to know that the top gymnasts in the country are just one big, happy, cramped, diet-monitoring, pee-watching family.
When I made the state Sport Aerobics team some years ago (now there's a sentence you don't see on every CV), we trained for two days at the Victorian High Performance Centre. We had an ASADA official come and talk to us about the dangers of doping. Because... y'know... some of the kids there were aged seven and eight. I mean phwoar, if they're not the ones coked up to the eyeballs come Nationals time, then I'll be a monkey's uncle. They couldn't even spell "antibiotic" let alone administer it themselves.
Anyway. I couldn't take the whole thing seriously because
a) of the above point. Little kids? In trackies and sparkly scrunchies? Doping? I think not good sir (though you can never put it past stage mothers...)
b) The ASADA guy kept saying "ping".
"You take a cold and flu tablet? They'll ping ya for that."
"Try and use a masking agent? They'll ping you for that."
"Skip a urine test? They'll ping you for that."
"Take an energy supplement the day before? Oh, they'll ping you for that."
The poor kids in the junior divisions didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Thankfully the AIS and GA folk are getting the squad used to drug testing procedures now. They're not pleasant but at least the athletes won't freak out halfway through their Olympic competition when they go for their first drug tests after team qualifications.
And on another note - if Miss Joura gets team captain then I hereby nominate Olivia as Team Morale Officer. What a champ. I do love her personality even if I haven't always loved her gymnastics.
ETA - Dasha's new column is up with more insight from camp. When I last read about those distraction tapes, apparently they also had sounds of burps and glass smashes. If anyone burped out loud during a gymnastics competition and I was anywhere in the vicinity, I'd take them outside the venue and smack them sideways. Table manners go beyond the table, people.