In yesterday's MX newspaper which I dutifully read on the train home (there's only so long you can stare at the floor to avoid the gaze of the drooling loon opposite you wearing a tinfoil beanie and whose eyes go in different directions), there was a double-page spread on our Beijing-bound trampolinist Ben Wilden. Ben "Born to Be" Wild(en) has created a cocktail at the bar in which he works. Sales from said cocktail will go towards funding his trip to the Games. Smart move. He needs money. Booze costs money. People need booze. People will give him money for booze. Everybody wins.
(Not taking into account the dangers of bringe drinking and the poor juxtaposition of an athlete promoting an alcoholic drink and rah rah rah leave all that pontificating to Kevin Rudd).
He waxed lyrical about his expectations for the event, but one particular paragraph struck me. He said words to the effect of, "I read an article the other day where artistic coach Peggy Liddick had ruled out gold and silver for the team, and said they were a chance for bronze. I don't think this is so great; why not go for gold?" If I had the means, I'd respond, "Ben, it's not that they're not going for gold, they certainly will be going all-out for the best result they can. But the fact of the matter is, China and the USA do have the gold and silver team spots all but cemented for themselves. It's been like that since China's resurgence at Worlds in 2006. It's a race for bronze realistically."
And then I'd ruffle his hair, wish him good luck for the Games, and ask where the bar is.
ETA: Ooh! I've come home to discover that the Moscow World Cup is on. But I've only caught the last half hour. Damn. I could see Lauren and Dasha hanging out in the background for bars, but they must have aleady competed. Me and my bad timing! This is a frustrating broadcast though, we just had about 10 minutes of a long-shot of the podium, and scores seem to be taking ages to come up. The camera lingers on competitors getting changed and discussing with their coaches for far too long. And the music, the awful awful awful pop music played over routine replays, blergh!
For those interested (who have Foxtel/Austar), Day 2 is showing tonight at 6pm. If you can stomach the erratic broadcast. You'll see Dasha's floor routine from finals, and hopefully Lauren's beam as well!