Anorak

Anorak | Watching The Beijing Olympics On The Radio

Watching The Beijing Olympics On The Radio

by | 8th, August 2008

SUCH is the density of smog, the Beijing Games might be the first Olympiad that is best viewed on the radio.

Olympic fans can recreate the glory of the Beijing games by locking themselves in a small, stuffy room – the downstairs loo is our tip, or a wheelie bin – lighting a pack of fags, spritzing the place with athletes’ foot power and eating a steaming hot plate of sweet and sour duck fat.

Says the Times on its front page: “Beijing Games to begin in smog of controversy.”

All day yesterday Beijing was obscured by thick grey air, a phenomenon known in the Chinese state media as “overcast and hazy skies”, and described by the rest of the world as smog.

Translations are never totally accurate, at best approximations to meaning. Bonjour is not “hello”, just an equivalent, and so on.

The paper’s Will Pavia wants to see how bad the smog is, so he goes jogging in Beijing.

My whole body was soon protesting; my lungs seemed particularly upset and remonstrated with me in the most plaintive terms. It was very much like running at home.

If a hack’s lungs can’t take the atmosphere, what of a lily-livered athlete? Breathing in Beijing will be giving blow backs to a toddler.

After ten minutes a burning sensation grew in my chest and I turned for home. Jogging has not been a recommended activity in this city for decades.

To Beijing then, the world’s foremost anti-joggers city.

China Wins

What we know, then, is that the air in Beijing is thick and dirty. And you can’t see much. You can’t even see the smog for the smog.

But this is nothing news. Anorak recalls anther sporting occasion, a match between Arsenal and Scunthorpe when Nigel Winterburn scored for the Gunners. Or so we were told by the commentator. No-one saw the ball go in.

So will we see the Olympics?

Or will we just have to take it on the adjudicator’s word that Chinese athletes has achieved shock wins in the 100metres, the 200metres, the 400metres, the 800metres, the 1500metres, the 10,000metres, the..?



Posted: 8th, August 2008 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink