Okay really, it’s not all that “special.” Truth be told, I didn’t write a Sunday Read this past weekend, it being a long weekend and all. And while throngs of protesters didn’t show up outside my domicile – in fact, no one complained – I felt I should deliver.
Besides some interesting stories have cropped up, many of them Olympic-related, and I wanted to share them before they became stale. So without further ado, here is a semi-Olympic, mid-week Sunday Read.
One way to put a rest to the doping controversies in athletics is just allow drugs. And, heck, why stop there? Gene splicing to create stronger, faster athletes specifically suited to their sport should be fair game as well. That’s the subject of a hilarious column online in The Age by the appropriately named Annabel Crabb that takes the piss out of the whole subject of clean sport. Why fight it, Crabb suggests. Instead, she advocates for a “freak Olympics,” with athletes drugged to the eyeballs and bred for their events. For instance, “weightlifters would be deranged, knotted mountains of muscle with two fierce little eyes on top, lifting bulldozers with one hand while clad in the briefest of loincloths.” It gets better – or worse – depending on your viewpoint. Read Crabb’s opinion here: http://bit.ly/NUaYDE
Pressure on the athletes at the Olympics can extend well beyond their chosen event. Take the recent example of American hurdler, Lolo Jones, for example. After she failed to medal in the 100 metre hurdles event, The New York Times published a piece that said the runner “received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign.” Nice. Jones didn’t think so. “…they just ripped me to shreds. I thought that was crazy because I work six days a week, every day, for four years for a 12-second race,” she told ESPN. Read the story here: http://es.pn/N5dOWu
Jones works hard for a 12-second race, but consider that over two million fans tried to procure tickets for an event that last less than 10 seconds. The New Yorker has an appreciation of Usain Bolt titled – what else? – Lightning. The best line in the story is editorial. According author Ben McGrath: “The world’s fourth fastest man, Tyson Gay, broke down sobbing in the tunnel afterward. Justin Gatlin, the third-fastest man, choked up, too. “Bolt’s a very fast guy,” he said. Adds McGrath: “You think?” Read the full story here: http://www.newyorker.com/
Perhaps the most inane story of the Olympics – and there are plenty – comes from Outside online. With the men’s marathon coming up on Sunday, every other media outlet in existence is parsing Meb Keflezighi’s shot at a gold medal. Daunted with problems and the loss of his sponsor, the veteran surprised everyone with an exceptional showing at the Olympic trials. Now the speculation is he may not have lost his mojo yet. In that spirit, Outside presents us with…his training plan? No. Uh, his strategy for the race? No. How about the music on his iPod. If you really need to know, go to: http://bit.ly/OWTvJ5
Finally, he’s no Scott Jurek – and he’s only vegetarian, not vegan, but Huffpo has a story on Canadian marathoner Dylan Wykes and what he eats. You have to love the purple prose in the story: Wykes “can dust off a 10K run in 30 minutes and run at a sole-wearing pace of 3:05 a kilometre for 42.2 kilometres.” And that means he can polish off a whole lot of veggies too! There’s also a hilarious guide to “What Vegetarian Athletes Eat.” Apparently some of us scarf down such bizarre and exotic foods as…lentils, tofu and “soy meat.” Wait. What was that last one? Here’s the link: http://huff.to/N759CX