Friday, August 10, 2012

The First Olympics: Athens 1896

I have watched a lot of porn. A big fan of porn, I am. I also watch other stuff. In fact, when I was a wee small boy in Kuantan, after having 24-hours electricity in 1986 (also the same year we had a whole extra TV channel - TV3), I watched EVERYTHING.

I watched everything from the daily Negaraku broadcast, all the way to Smartshop where Kudsia Kahar was selling Didi 7 and Didi Glow. One of my favourite slots was TV2's Dunhill Double. Dunhill Double was like HBO, if HBO was on TV2 and only had four hours a week (two on Thursday, two on Friday).

Since we are nearing the end of this Olympics - at least for Malaysians, as perhaps our last chance at a gold medal lies on the shoulders of Pandalela around 2am later - I would like to talk about The First Olympics: Athens 1896.

I saw this 1984 TV mini-series, The First Olympics: Athens 1896, on the Dunhill Double slot.

The mini series focused on the Americans mostly, showing how they, through training and help from a black female slave, came up with such techniques as the 'crouch start' which won them the 100m race via Thomas Burke.

The crouch start was started by their coach who said they could go as fast as bullets if they started like the anvil on a pistol. I thought that was very clever, but I was like, 8 years old.

They also invented the modern way of running the hurdles, as demonstrated by a black woman.

The games itself had loads of drama. The Greeks, who all looked like poor farmers set for an economic crisis over a hundred years later, wanted their athletes to win either one or all three of these traditional 'Greek sports' - the discus, the shot putt and/or the Marathon.

The Americans won in the discus and shot putt because they invented the modern technique of spinning. The Americans also won the pole vault because they thought of angling the poles upwards and riding it to the top as they push it down on the ground.

Apparently, idiots back then would angle the pole from a higher to a lower point, because they're dumb.

And get this - at the marathon, the runners were given refreshments in the form of wine, so a lot of them drunkenly stumble off course because they were drunk or singing while being drunk.

Eventually, that Greek dude won the marathon and Greece's honour is saved.

There were some subplots and whatever, but fuck that.

The last few scenes showed the Americans sending a fucking telegram back home, where people didn't give a fuck about the Olympics.

That, to me, was the beginning of the Olympics. Furnished by that wonderful TV special, The First Olympics: Athens 1896.

My other Olympic memories were of my entire family cheering  on a gymnast called Nadia something-something. We never had a real Olympic hero until the badminton doubles won silver I think, much, much later.