Thursday 2 August 2012

Three Great Moments in Olympic History

With the Summer Olympics upon us, it's time to look back at some of the most inspiring and triumphant moments these games have offered us over the decades. The Olympics have that magical ability to inspire rampant, unchecked jingoism in the kind of people who, with a straight face, will then criticize others for "politicizing" the games. Herewith, then, are some legendary Olympic highlights.

Mexico City, 1968

During the men's shotput competition, judges discover that Russian athlete Mikhail Rumanov had greased the shotput prior to throwing it. Rumanov confessed that he had done so in order to make the small and very heavy ball easier to throw great distances. Judges pointed out that this would also make the ball virtually impossible to pick up or grip. At this point, Rumanov broke down and began weeping, pleading with the officials not to disqualify him. The officials assured him that he would not be disqualified because he hadn't actually done anything to give himself an advantage, unfair or otherwise.  Rumanov thanked them profusely, and ended up using a different shotput. Ultimately, Rumanov placed 7th out of 8 competitors. In an interview with Russian Shotput Monthly years later, Rumanov confessed to having placed performance-enhancing drugs in his ears during the competition to give him an edge. Mr. Rumanov currently resides in an abandoned refrigerator on the outskirts of Vladivostock, and stares in wonder at a Kremlin snow globe while local children douse him in bear saliva.

Montreal, 1976

French athlete Michelle Desrochiers, a self-proclaimed "avant-garde badminton player", takes the Montreal games by storm. Before matches, Desrochiers would pass out her self-printed manifesto to fans in the stands, in which she announced her intentions to challenge the bourgeois-capitalist values that mainstream badminton promoted, however unwittingly. Desrochiers' sustained critique of badminton involved using unorthodox materials in place of conventional equipment. For example, instead of a racket, Desrochiers used a stuffed raccoon smeared in lipstick and iguana blood, and instead of a regular shuttlecock, she insisted on playing with a plastic vagina with the words LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS scrawled across it. Also, rather than spending the entire game on the court, Desrochiers would often spend an entire match in the stands, either leaving her side empty or recruiting a crowd member to play for her while she shot at them with a BB gun. Desrochiers caused great controversy among fellow avant-badmintonites during her final game against Finland's Taanen Selanen when she used an actual racket to hit an actual shuttlecock over the net. This cost her a very lucrative endorsement deal with Duplessi Brand Razor O's, the world's only razor-blade-based breakfast cereal. 

Every Olympics Ever

The host city buses the homeless out of town or places large tarps over them and everyone pretends this isn't happening. This only happens for the two weeks the Olympics are in town, of course; the rest of the year they are treated with compassion and respect.

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