The past twelve days have seen me happy as the proverbial “pig in mud”. I’ve gone nocturnal, camped on the couch desperately trying to stay awake in the midst of an onslaught of sporting fare the like of which I’ve never seen before!
I am lucky to have pay TV which gives me two major advantages. Firstly, I don’t have to put up with the inane, ill-informed comments from some of the Nine commentary team and their ridiculous scheduling decisions. Secondly, I have eight channels at my disposal - alas this means have to put up with the inane, ill-informed comments from some of the Foxtel commentary team! As if eight options aren’t enough I also have Twitter as a constant companion and the web gives me further second-screen action!
Despite constant tiredness I’ve tried to learn new things. Who, for example was that diminutive fella dressed in a different colour shirt next to the spindly volleyballers? A floor wiper, water boy or physio? Nope, I crowdsourced Twitter to find this person was in fact the libero not a particularly complex part of an opera. It is a designated defensive position played by someone who chases everything and who can dig better than a graveworker in a plague year.
In shooting I’d noticed some participants standing and lying totally still all the while decked out as if they were about to be a pretend villain at a police dog training day. I now know that the jackets, trousers and even personal undergarments are specifically designed to keep them just that way – immobile and motionless. Did you know there are 13 rules governing the jacket alone! I do now!
Oh and another thing I’ve learned … how to cry. No matter what your nationality the feats exhibited by these Olympians have been life-affirming. I’ve cried at the cruel hardship that some have endured to get this far, snivelled as lifelong dreams were shattered in a trice and of course booed my eyes out as the athletes accepted the glinting symbols of their superiority.
You learn something new everyday!