Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Timboys Stolenwealth Games

Well, it’s taken me a fair while to get back to posting- work, cycling and other shenanigans have been keeping me far too busy. But I thought I’d take the opportunity to write a little about the Stolenwealth Games in hindsight.

The games started for me on Monday two weeks ago when I almost choked on gum leaf smoke as I took my regular run around the Tan. It was National Lampoons Aboriginal Tent Embassy Melbourne Vacation to protest the games, and good on ’em. Only the cynics amongst us would speculate upon the close geographical proximity of the tent embassy to the venue for the Earthcore dance party, the Myer Music Bowl. What a happy coincidence!

Then came the opening ceremony. The Queen refused to smile on television for two straight hours. She looked a bit constipated with all her grimacing. Couldn’t Ron Walker have fetched the old dear a warm glass of Metamucil or something? The crowd went absolutely potty for Lord Mayor John So. Delta Goodrem was almost dispatched by a flaming skyrocket during the performance of her dreary Celine Dion wannabe games song. Two or three pigeons weren’t so lucky when the giant flames went up at Crown Casino (Seriously, it was the most serene thing I saw all night- those poor pigeons gliding to their deaths across the Yarra. They were like little shooting stars, only more graceful). AFL footballers walked over fish, one old cunt walked on water. There was a boy with a duck, a flying tram and the Church singing a song about smack. And there were fireworks, lots of fireworks. We also witnessed 90,000 people collectively murmer ‘what the fuck’ when the second verse of the national anthem got a rare outing. Altogether, a tad eccentric, but nonetheless very entertaining. Let the games begin.

In the first final of the swimming Libby Lenton won a silver medal- the Channel Nine commentary team were speechless. The Herald Sun earlier in the day had predicted a clean sweep of seven gold medals for Lenton. This was not what Australians had hoped for and expected- there was a palpable sense of anticlimax. But it wasn’t to last long. The medals began to tumble in, with the Australian tally surpassing 200 medals. Lenton ended up winning five gold and two silver. Props must also going to the Age, the Sun and Nine for failing to realise that there were any other competitors at the games apart from gold medal winning Australians. At the Melbourne Games failing to win gold was unspeakable, and losing became more and more Un-Australian.

And the cycling. How could I fail to mention the cycling? Nicole Cooke was impressed by the legendary Hawthorn Cycling Club Crackadrome, and then got flogged by a Hawk at Carnegie in a pre-race hit out. Go Russ! Olivia Gollan crashed like an idiot in the women’s road race, which was easily won by a very strong Natalie Bates. I mainly watched the men’s road race from Darling Street in South Yarra. There was a real carnival atmosphere with lots of barbeques and drinky good times. Simon Gerrans was there with a bunch of mates, and I also saw comedian Glen Robbins in the hood (Just thought I’d drop a few shit celebrities). There was a guy dressed as the devil running up and down Darling Street when the race went past. All the kids were chanting ‘kill the devil, kill the devil’- it was pretty cute. For me there were a number of stars on the day. The first star was the Kenyan dude who rode strongly in the main breakaway. The second and biggest hero was Ben Day of Australia. He rode on the front of the bike race non-stop for four hours holding the entire race together, and not letting the break get too far up the road. Aaron Kemps and Peter Dawson of Australia were also great riding on the front of the race with all the other riders sucking their wheels. The most emotional moment of the race for me was witnessing Day and Kemps EXPLODE going up Darling Street to launch the Allan Davis attack. They had both given so much they could barely get over the hill. It was just awesome to see how much they put into the team effort. And last but not least, Matty Hayman. He wasn’t riding for himself on Sunday, but he just kept on going and going and found himself in the right place at the right time to take home the biscuits. It’s wonderful that a good honest workhorse of a cyclist can get some high level recognition. Again no love for Channel Nine for failing to show any of the mens race, except for a delayed telecast of the last two kilometers of the race. SHAME.

Oh, and there was a cultural festival on also. I didn’t go because I’m a philistine. I did see Roland S Howard at Cherry on Friday night though. He was awesome.


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