It was the worst possible timing ever! I was moving house on the day of the opening ceremony. For years I have been set up with Foxtel to ensure that I was not going to miss any sporting event of great significance.
It was good old Rupert Murdoch who presciently proclaimed that sport was going to be the battering ram for the uptake of his pay television subscription service during the late 1990s. Some 8 channels that would cover all gold medal events, and more, were ready for me to indulge in Olympic and Paralympic uninterrupted and overexposed sport of the kind that I would never watch on any other day.
And then we had to plan for the move from Port Melbourne to Albert Park, cancel Foxtel on the 27th of July, only to find out it would take ‘quite a while’ to be set up again, on the other side. Desperately I tried to auto-program the flat screen in my new Albert Park dwelling to at least get channel nine coverage – read: ‘of interest to Aussies only’ - to the event.
Only then I started to wonder if the rest of the world was as temporarily desperate as I was. I asked the painters who were touching my house up with a fresh sparkling white look “if they had enjoyed any of the Olympic action over the weekend” only to find out that they really could not care less… “much better to see the Hawks get another big win mate…”.
One of them did have a personal interest in the Games though, betting his dad (of British descent) that the Aussies would beat the Poms in the overall medal tally, 50 bucks worth. By that time I started to wonder if only Channel Nine, Foxtel and the major sponsors (yee that McDonalds ad sucks in the kids!) were interested in the five rings, until my 4.5 year old daughter came home from day-care. “Daddy I wanna watch Elimpics with you!” she cried out. “why Em, why do you want to watch the Olympics? "I want to do the tumbling and turning like the girls”, “and I wanna be the winner!”
At dinner time I promised her that we would watch the Olympics together and that one day we would go there (as by her request), but only if she would beat me twice in the broccoli Olympics contest. Much to my surprise, for once, broccoli went down like chocolate ice-cream, celebrating victory with a war cry and two hands raised – “I am the winner of the Broccolympics!”
Who says the Olympic Games cannot change the world…? If the event can make my daughter eat broccoli, anything is possible.