Something a bit different : My take on the Olympics forms major part of today’s Mirror column :
The politicians are asleep when Katherine Grainger endures her first training session of the day.
The PR men do not understand the purity of her ambition, as one of the world’s best rowers.
The corporate parasites cannot feel her pain, when she reflects on silver medals, won at the last three Olympics.
They do not deserve to purchase a piece of her life, an association with her personal and professional values.
Yet they use people like her, to talk down to people like you and me.
They tell us we are killjoys, disloyal and unpatriotic, when we refuse to be bullied into accepting the myths of London 2012.
The Games will not produce leaner, fitter, children. They will be an irritating irrelevance to many adults.
A vanity project for Middle England can only be justified by the platform it offers unfairly unheralded athletes like Katherine.
Together with Anna Watkins, her partner in the women’s double sculls, she is Britain’s banker bet for a gold medal.
I love what she represents, but loathe what the Olympics have become. I hate the hypocrisy, the cheerleading funded by the TV licence fee.
In another life, I played a small role in setting up a system of moral, medical, technical and scientific support for Team GB.
Watching Katherine work with coach Paul Thompson in the milky light of a laceratingly cold mid-winter dawn was an education.
Losing a gold medal, in the last 20 strokes in Beijing, felt like a bereavement. Katherine grieved, for four months, before resuming her four year cycle of self sacrifice.
I thought of her last week, when the final countdown to the London Games began, with a nauseating burger burp of self-congratulation.
She is a self-confessed people watcher, with a wry sense of humour.
She would have seen through middle aged men in suits, demanding credit for bringing the Games in “on budget”
Getting by on £9billion, when they said £3billion would do, doesn’t add up.
We have a problem, London.
These Games are costing every man woman and child in the UK £150. The majority are not buying into Sebastian Coe’s increasingly incoherent rhetoric.
A poll of children, aged between 11 and 18, found 70% are “not motivated” by the Olympics. Two thirds of adults said the same thing.
Elite sport, by its very nature, caters for a minority. Yet politicians, like Tessa Jowell, continue to insult our intelligence.
She insists the £270million pool will be a “local resource”. Try telling that to Mums, attempting to do aqua aerobics in water three metres deep.
Participation in 19 sports has declined over the last two years. Local facilities of real value, like Sheffield’s Woodbourn Stadium, are being closed across the country.
The Olympic Stadium, centrepiece of the Games, is a symbol of double standards
It is being sold, for a song, to a pair of pornographers, who run a dysfunctional football club.
These people bought that club, West Ham, from bankrupt Icelandic bankers, with profits made from selling another dysfunctional club, Birmingham, to a Hong Kong businessman who is awaiting trial on money laundering charges.
Council taxpayers in the deprived Olympic borough of Newham are throwing £40million into the pot.
Makes you proud, doesn’t it? The Games are anti-democratic, a luxury we cannot afford, in a capital that doesn’t need the investment.
That won’t stop me moving heaven and earth to be at the rowing lake at 12.50pm on August 3 next year, for the women’s double sculls final.
I pray Katherine wins that elusive gold medal, and reminds the hangers on of their insignificance