British Athletes | Best Excuse For Being Rubbish...
or worse, depends how you look at it. But, I've been watching the World Championships from Helsinki from time to time because I know the city well and wanted to see how the Finns would respond to staging the meet. Typically, they've done a great job. Helsinki is a beautiful city with parks and green places never far away. It's well worth a visit and these days the shops work out cheaper than those to be found where I live, rip-off London.
But going back to the "British atheletes" (I use that description loosely). One by one, they failed to get to within even the same postcode of a final. After each pathetic attempt they were interviewed by the BBC woman with the most irritating voice on the box (a Thames Estuary whine), Sally Gunnell, and each had a great excuse for why they couldn't put one leg in front of the other and run. "Tried my best," "I ate this fish the night before and it had food poisoning stamped on it but I didn't realise it would give me a stomach bug, but I don't want to make excuses" and other interminable variations. No-one had the honesty to say: "Look, I was rubbish, I got lottery funding for this and spent it at Macdonalds, big time...I could do with a Big Mac, where's the nearest Macdonalds?"
The funniest excuse was from the female 5000m runner, Jo Pavey. She trundled in last in her final and when she was asked politely as to the reasons for walking instead of running she replied: "I just couldn't run!"
How unlucky is that? She's a runner and couldn't run. Imagine if you were a nurse and couldn't nurse? Or a traffic warden who couldn't book motorists. It would be devastating as it would be hard to do your job without these qualities. Likewise, for a runner the running aspect of it must be one of the most important parts of the job, I would guess.
Though judging by most of the British stars it may well be still optional.
It's a sad situation as I could have been there and done equally as badly but would have earned from it. If I run I could have done so with a fag in my mouth, come last, not broke sweat and just said: "I did my best. I'm on 20 fags a day: what do you expect?"
So I would have finished last. That's no different to the the well paid twats who have just competed in the championships.
And I tell you something: if the organisers of the meet had placed an ice cream van on the track to try and catch there would have been no stopping me. Every sunday at home I'm after it when I hear it's musical siren.
And I'm like Linford Christie.
Food for thought for UK Atheletics, perhaps. I'm waiting for their call. Keep you posted.