Showing posts with label sport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sport. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Photographer wins gold at Moscow

Here's a portrait of the real winner of the 100 m sprint at Moscow:


He's a photographer named Olivier Morin, who works for AFP. Even Usain Bolt himself tweeted his congratulations to the photographer.

Click here to see the famous photo. Click here to see the story of this amazing photo in Mail Online. And click here to access Olivier's Morin's portfolio.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Don't throw bananas onto the track

A 30-year-old Japanese sprinter, Kenichi Ito, has just established a new world record of 17.47 seconds for the 100 meters. Click here to admire a video of his performance.

In an Olympic context, if I had to choose between synchronized swimming and running on all fours, I wouldn't hesitate in preferring to watch the monkey business. In fact, when I observe some of the swimmers' contortions, I wonder whether some of these women might not be able to turn themselves into top-level monkey runners.


As far as exciting spectator sports go, I would even place monkey running ahead of curling.


There again, maybe there could be some sort of amalgam between the two sporting disciplines, by requiring curling competitors to slide around on the glass on all fours, in the style of seals, with their noses down at the level of the granite stone.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Meaning in images

You're familiar, of course, with these two famous images:

Bart Simpson and his sister Lisa.

Now, close your eyes and form the following image in your mind. Bart has unzipped his blue shorts and pulled out his pecker. His adorable wide-eyed sister has leaned down in front of him and started to give her brother a tender Olympian blowey... as they say in the sporting classics. Specialists (elsewhere on the Internet) have suggested that this incongruous composite image might look something like this:


You've recognized, of course, the logo of the forthcoming Olympics in London.


One might wonder what the athletes in the Olympic Village are going to be doing in their spare time, when they're not actually competing. Training, of course...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

French visitor in Australia

Recently, this emu at Taronga Park on the shores of Sydney Harbour was puzzled:


The bird couldn't be expected to know that the great French 34-year-old rugby international Sébastien Chabal (nicknamed the Caveman) was in Sydney on a working holiday. He had been invited as a guest player in the third-grade Balmain team in a match against Petersham.


Why not have fun while getting paid to visit Down Under? For the moment, Chabal has a bit of time on his hands, since leaving his last club in Paris.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Potentially breakneck Aussie invention

Some Aussie activities don't look particularly risky at first sight. Take rock fishing, for example. There's no danger whatsoever in being perched on a rock on the edge of the ocean… as long as there are no big waves in the vicinity. For rock fishing to become dangerous, you need at least one big wave in the vicinity. Often a single exceptional big wave is largely sufficient...

An invention known as the Hoverbike is the brainchild of an Australian motorbike enthusiast named Chris Malloy, seen here astride a prototype version of his toy… conveniently tethered to the ground to prevent it from flying into the heavens.

For the moment, the device is being thoroughly tested, with utmost caution, and Chris has never been tempted to release the straps that force the craft to hover close to the ground. At some time in the future, though, Chris figures out that his invention would be capable of rising to an altitude of a couple of thousand meters, and cruising at a speed of over 250 km/hour (like a motorcyclist having fun on a country highway). Here's a view that lets you see the main components of this rather elementary machine:

It occupies roughly the same surface as an automobile, but it's not intended to travel down the same roads as traditional vehicles. One day, when it's flightworthy, the Hoverbike will share the same aerial itineraries as helicopters, ULMs, hang gliders, etc.

Will this craft be risky? No more so than rock fishing… when there are no big waves in the vicinity. At a rough glance, I would imagine that, if ever there were sudden power fluctuations in one of the two propellers, the Hoverbike would immediately develop a tendency to stand up on one end, or turn somersaults, or spin out of control, or maybe simply drop. In rock fishing terms, that would be like the sudden arrival of a really big wave. But nothing like this could possibly happen as long as the Hoverbike remains firmly tethered to the ground.

Maybe, one day soon, the Hoverbike might set out unexpectedly on its maiden flight into the sky… when two of those tethering straps happen to work loose from the ground, at the same time that the pilot is revving up his toy. If this were to happen, the drop to the ground would probably be harmless, but it would be important to avoid having a spinning propeller drift down onto the pilot's head.

When all's said and done, I think it would be preferable to stick to rock fishing, or other relatively safe pastimes such as bushwalking without a compass, or surfing on unknown beaches, or swimming in crocodile ponds… Or maybe riding an old-fashioned motorcycle along winding country roads at the same cruising speed as an air-borne Hoverbike.

Now, I can imagine brave young Hoverbike enthusiasts criticizing me for whimpering liked a scared child. If you're not prepared to take a few risks, then you shouldn't even dare to walk across a busy suburban road. As I've often pointed out, my grandfather died (at the age of 93) as a result of falling off a swivel chair while changing a light bulb in his Gold Coast apartment. So, what's so crazy about jumping onto a Hoverbike and opening the throttle, then flying through the air with the greatest of ease, like the daring young man on the flying trapeze? OK, your arguments are indeed convincing. I'll think about it, and let you know if I change my mind. Meanwhile, please carry on your tethered testing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Australians in action

Over the weekend, the world has witnessed three splendid victories of Australians. First, there was the arrival in Sydney of 16-year-old Jessica Watson, who had just sailed non-stop around the globe.

Then there was the impressive victory of world champion Cadel Evans in a stage of the Tour of Italy.

Finally, there was the stunning victory of Mark Webber in the Grand Prix of Monaco.

In each of these three domains, the hero/heroine was backed up by solid sponsors with tons of cash, but their achievements were nevertheless heroic at a sporting level, and they deserve our admiration. Besides, one has the impression that, for each of these three exceptional individuals, even greater victories await them…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spoilsport

The dictionary informs us that a spoilsport is somebody who mars the pleasure of others. Wretched individuals who behave this way are sometimes described as killjoys or wet blankets, and I would imagine that my Aussie compatriots, great lovers of sport, could supply me with further appropriate synonyms.

I experienced my first stirrings of spoilsportsmanship when I was a boy in Grafton. At our high school, there were all sorts of competitions. A few of them were of a scholarly nature (which I often won), but most of these competitions were in sporting domains... between individuals, or school divisions known as "houses", or even between neighboring schools... provided, of course, that they weren't Catholic schools, since our community of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants preferred to avoid communicating with those people. Well, from an early age, I was often struck by the sheer inanity of sporting competitions, matches and championships. I enjoyed fun and games (such as mixed doubles in tennis, where I could observe the girls at close range as they served), and I liked to participate in certain competitive activities such as cycling and rowing. Swimming competitions, too, could be terribly exciting, especially when (as explained by my compatriot Clive James in his Unreliable Memoirs) the girls would get out of the water in their dripping Speedo costumes which, in those days, were made out of transparent skin-clinging textiles. But I could never understand why, in general, we should scream for the victory of one participant in a competition, or one side in a match, rather than another competitor or the other side. After all, weren't they all playing the same game, to the best of their respective abilities?

These days, I often watch competitive sport on TV, but I generally feel that I'm an idiot in doing so. Spending an hour or so following lap after lap of an F1 motor race (as I sometimes do) is surely just as dumb as watching a curling tournament. Or, worse still, a competition in synchronized swimming: no doubt one of the most stupid competitive sports ever imagined.

In a recent article entitled Little gods [display], I mentioned the brilliant writing of Christopher Hitchens (whose Twitter name is hitchbitch). Well, in the Newsweek magazine, Hitchens has just written the ultimate spoilsport article, entitled Fool's Gold [access].

He suggests that "the Olympics and other international competitions breed conflict and bring out the worst in human nature". Personally, I couldn't agree more. It doesn't take much imagination or logical skill, simply a good dose of common sense, to arrive at an obvious corollary. Organized sport is a universal pest to be likened, in its harmful effects, to organized religion.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Balls and holes

Friends assure me that, when you get addicted to golf, you can't get it out of your system, and you can't get enough of it. Come rain, sleet, snow, hail or high winds, all you can think about is getting it into the hole. It? I'm talking of balls, of course, rock-hard balls. When I was a kid in South Grafton, I recall that serious golfers hired a person referred to as a caddie to talk care of their sporting equipment. This US guy named Tiger appears to have got together a whole harem to handle his sporting equipment.

Wow, what a drive he must have! A hole-in-one every day he hits off. Surely a great mattress-putter, too. In any case, a splendid role model for horny youths who yearn to become top players, indeed champions.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stratospheric golf

My aunt Nancy Smith in Sydney reads this blog, and she's a keen golfer, like her husband Peter. (The adjective "keen" is a pale approximation for the word I really want: something more like "addicted" or "religious". Maybe Nancy herself will tell me the right word.) Now, I know that the stratospheric privilege for a golfer is to play at Saint Andrews in Scotland, where the game was invented. It's a truly fabulous place: a kind of earthly paradise for golfers... but also a splendid university city, which charmed me immensely back in the 1970s when I was writing my guidebook on Britain.

Getting back to Nancy and her favorite sport, I'm aware that she goes on regular excursions with her husband and friends to exotic faraway golfing places. Well, I've found them a fabulous place for their next outing, in South America, at an altitude of 3,292 meters.

Knowing the physical form of Nancy (an Irish Walker/Kennedy descendant, like me), I reckon she would thrash these Bolivian ladies.

It's marvelously funny (or maybe funnily marvelous) that the universe is full of so many injustices that deserve to be bashed, thrashed and hit on their silly heads by powerful clubs... and yet we prefer to mete out this punishment to poor innocent golf balls. I retain in mind the surrealist image (fuzzy anecdote related to me by my cousin Peter Hakewill) of my dear mother Kath Walker once driving into a cane toad with a wedgie...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wet world

For a long time, swimming spectators in France were fascinated by Laure Manaudou. Recently, they've discovered an amazing muscle-bound phenomenon, Alain Bernard. For the moment, this friendly and lucid lad from Aubagne, near Marseille, is simply the fastest swimmer in the world.

These days, there's a lot of talk about high-tech swimsuits, which can account for precious milliseconds in the pool. The other day, for example, when Laure Manaudou was beaten in her favorite category, we saw her in tears on TV explaining that everything would revert to normal as soon as she could reappear in her new swimsuit.

In the swimsuit manufacturer's logo, the phallic arrowhead is in fact a stylized boomerang, because the Speedo company was born in Australia, a century ago, at Sydney's Bondi Beach.

When I was a kid, we grew up with navy-blue Speedo "swimming costumes" (as we used to say). They weren't yet exactly high-tech, but they had the charm of revealing as much as they concealed. In the following extract from his Unreliable Memoirs, describing his adolescent years in Sydney, Clive James evokes an insalubrious set of tiled swimming pools fed by sea water at Botany Bay:

The water in each pool would be green on the first day, orange on the second and saffron the third. The whole place was one vast urinal. But there were diving boards, sand pits and giggling swarms of girls wearing Speedo swimming costumes. The Speedo was a thin, dark blue cotton one-piece affair whose shoulder straps some of the girls tied together behind with a ribbon so as to tauten the fabric over their pretty bosoms. On a correctly formed pubescent girl a Speedo looked wonderful, even when it was dry. When it was wet, it was an incitement to riot.

I recall vividly the image of teenage nymphs in Speedos, and I agree retrospectively with Clive James when he suggests that, because of the Speedo phenomenon, various potential male swimming champions no doubt spent too much time on dry land:

Falling for — not just perving on, but actually and rackingly falling for — a pretty girl in a Speedo certainly beat any thrills that were being experienced by the poor bastards who were swimming themselves to jelly in the heats and semi-finals. So, at any rate, I supposed. Every few minutes you could hear the spectators roar as they goaded some half-wit onward to evanescent glory. Meanwhile I concentrated on the eternal values of the way a girl's nipples hardened against her will behind their veils of blue cotton...

In their current publicity [display], the Speedo corporation presents its latest fabulous swimsuit product, with an ingeniously sensual name: Fastskin. I wonder if the Scotsman Alexander MacRae — who started out in 1914 by manufacturing underwear, not to mention mosquito nets during World War II — realized what he might be unleashing in the way of watery dreams when he invented Speedo stuff.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Over half a century ago

Starting in 1950, Australia dominated the Davis Cup for a period of four years, first with the duo Frank Sedgman and Ken McGregor. Then the young Australians Lewis Hoad and Ken Rosewall took over. In Melbourne in 1953, Hoad and Rosewall beat the US players Vic Seixas and Tony Trabert.

The 1954 finals in Sydney gave Seixas, 31, and Trabert, 24, a chance to get even with the 20-year-old tennis twins Hoad and Rosewall.



And that's exactly what they did, in the first two days, in a series of four-set matches.

Back in those final sunny days of December 1954, my paternal grandparents [Pop and Ma, as we called them] had invited me to drive down to Sydney with them to watch the finals of that Davis Cup tournament at White City Stadium. I seem to recall that we attended the doubles match, on the second day, since that was the kind of social tennis to which we were accustomed back in Grafton. For us, it was hard to imagine a game of tennis in which the server wasn't gazing in the direction of the backside of his partner (often of the opposite sex), crouched near the net. Singles matches appeared to us as unusually solemn and solitary events, in which you didn't even have somebody to chat to during the calm periods while your opponents were collecting the balls for the next stroke.

On 28 December 1954, at the splendid lawn courts between Kings Cross and Edgecliff, I got autographs from the four players.

This 1954 tennis tournament in Sydney remains in the local history books as a much-publicized event, probably because of the hero status of Hoad and Rosewall. Personally, I wasn't greatly surprised to see the young Australians defeated. Physically, they looked like young Australian sportsmen of the kind one could see anywhere. Seixas and Trabert, on the other hand, appeared to me as Martians, particularly when seen up close. They seemed to exude a mysterious mixture of power and sporting wisdom, quite unlike the naive grins of the Aussie kids. I had the impression that, for these superior Americans, tennis was not just a game; it was their business.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Aerial urban surveillance

In my article of 29 August 2007 entitled Sydney skies [display], I criticized Australia's decision to place a jet fighter above the city during the APEC gathering. Funnily enough, my scenario about the possibility of an innocent private aircraft getting blasted out of the sky by this fighter almost became a reality.

Later, in my article of 6 September 2007 entitled Stadiums [display], I mentioned the vast security resources that French authorities planned to use during the Rugby World Cup.

It was only yesterday, on TV, that we had a closeup presentation of one of these resources, used in the sky at Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris. Apparently there's a tiny remote-controlled aircraft floating around constantly in the air above the great stadium, and it's video camera can see everything that's happening on the ground. In a control room, several police specialists control the movements of the robot aircraft, and watch the images it provides on a large screen on the wall. The images are so precise that you can easily distinguish human individuals, including groups of people who might be up to mischief.

The female police officer whose job consisted of "flying" the tiny noiseless aircraft explained that, if nobody gets upset about this surveillance method, it's primarily because it's invisible. She added: "Most modern police departments throughout the world are now using this technique." Hearing this, I pricked up my ears. Was the police department in Sydney actually using this approach during the APEC? If so, was the publicity about the jet fighter in Sydney's skies simply a strategy to make people forget about the presence of tiny robot aircraft equipped with video cameras? Was the ban on all other aircraft over Sydney designed to make sure that the little robotic devices would be free to glide around in an airspace free of turbulence and obstacles?

If ever it so happens that Sydney is not yet aware of this new robotic technology, then it might be a good idea if a few Australian police delegates were to visit France, at the end of the rugby matches, to see what it's all about. In making this suggestion, I'm thinking above all of the safety of private pilots wishing to take their family or friends on future joy flights over the Sydney coastline or the Blue Mountains, while unaware that the local police are protecting Important Visitors and searching for potential Troublemakers and Dangerous Terrorists. It would be so much less messy to collide with a tiny robotic drone than to get pulverized by a jet fighter belonging to the Royal Australian Air Force.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Bad day for the Southern Hemisphere

There's a saying in French: Before you've actually shot the bear, don't try to sell its skin. We might reflect upon this wisdom in the rugby domain. Within the context of the rugby opposition between the Old World and the Southern Hemisphere, observers [including myself] were starting to believe that the latter were invincible.

— Almost everybody thought that England would be skinned by the Wallabies at Marseille this afternoon. It was a great match... for England, above all.

— As for this evening's confrontation in Cardiff between the French Blues and the New Zealand Blacks, everybody was convinced that France would be skinned. Instead, they won.

It's weird to see Australia and New Zealand eliminated from the Rugby World Cup in the space of a few hours. I often feel that the primordial difference between the Southern Hemisphere and the Old World—not only in rugby, but in other domains, as well—is that ancient nations such as England and France nurture silly old values of a mysterious nature that might be termed determination, perseverance and idealism... as opposed to the pragmatic criteria of the New World, based at times upon flashy opportunism. I'm aware that my hasty analysis of the situation is fuzzy and no doubt faulty. But we still need to explain how and why the illustrious and flamboyant Wallabies and All Blacks could get eliminated amazingly in a single day by the old-fashioned English Roses and French Roosters.

In any case, yesterday, we were all ready to sell a few European bear skins. Today, alas, we realize that the beasts in question have not in fact been shot and killed. On the contrary...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Top 50

Whereas France is hosting the world cup in rugby, the nation's most popular individual is a soccer star: Zinédine Zidane. For those of you who might have forgotten the event, or missed seeing it because they were holidaying in a tropical jungle without access to TV, Zidane was the guy who used his hard bald head to butt the Italian player Marco Materazzi, who apparently made some kind of improper remark concerning a female member of Zidane's family.

Click here to see the entire list of France's 50 most popular individuals, as determined by a poll conducted by the Journal du Dimanche. If you browse around in the chart, you'll find lots of actors, singers, sporting heroes, TV personalities and even an ageing nun, a few politicians (including a president of the French Republic) and a soccer trainer... but no business chiefs, scientists or rugby stars.

Friday, September 21, 2007

French sport

Theoretically, France should be able to defeat Ireland in this evening's pool D match of the Rugby World Cup. But theory doesn't amount to much in rugby, where all kinds of unexpected factors come into play. Theoretically, France should have been able to defeat Argentina in the opening match of the Cup, but it didn't. And, since then, the French have been haunted by the possibility that their team could get kicked out of the Cup during the pool matches, before the start of the real action. This evening, we'll see. It's a do or die thing. If Ireland were to win, France would be definitely out.

Evil-minded observers [Who isn't, when it's a matter of commenting upon a major sporting defeat?] would say that the bald-headed French trainer, Bernard Laporte, didn't get his act together before France's opening match. Or rather, he got his act together a little bit too well. Problems and criticism stem from the fact that loud-mouthed charismatic Laporte has become more of a popular star in France than any of the national players. He has a delightful south-western accent, and TV viewers love to see and hear him getting excited and screaming like a distraught dad at his hefty kids. Besides, we come upon Laporte all the time on TV, because smart companies have hired him to sell all kinds of wares and services. And many viewers have ended up wondering how the hell this video star could possibly find time to train the French rugby team.

Above all, Bernard Laporte has friends in high places... including one sports-minded friend in a particularly high place: Nicolas Sarkozy. Poorly-planned public relations enabled French citizens—not to mention the members of France's rugby team—to learn that Laporte has already accepted a golden job that has been offered him by his mate, the president. After the Rugby World Cup, Bernard Laporte—who knows next to nothing about politics—is destined to assume a senior governmental role in the French sporting domain. So, if ever France were to fail this evening, it would look a little like Sarkozy has signed up a lame duck to look after French sport. Let's hope this doesn't happen...

Meanwhile, French sport reached a summit with the victory in heavy-weight judo of Teddy Riner: a splendid young black-skinned clone of the great David Douillet. Although I know almost nothing about judo, I love to think that a young French Black, bursting over with personality and friendliness, has become—in a sense—the most powerful man on the planet, even more so than any of the rugby giants. Teddy Riner is truly the sort of quiet and beautiful guy [like Yannick Noah] whom you would like to invite to a home barbecue, to talk about anything and everything with the kids. Is there any better criterion of human excellence?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

No need for religious wars in sport

I ignore the circumstances in which the Australian cyclist Robbie McEwan might or might not have said to football folk: "You chase a ball around for 80 minutes. We chase the yellow jersey for 3 weeks." In any case, I think it's a pity that these facetious words are used to promote TV viewing of the Tour de France in Australia.

There's no need to attack great sports such as rugby and soccer in order to boost cycling. It's idiotic to ignite religious wars in the sporting domain. Besides, the silly expression "proper tough guys" evokes the ancient epoch when soccer players were thought of, in Australia, as poofters. The worst idea of all would consist of encouraging soccer fans, if not players, to behave as "tough guys".

Talking about soccer, it's time to take action—maybe through some serious firing and hiring—if the Socceroos team is to survive. The 3-1 defeat by Iraq was truly ignominious. After the Tour de France, in cycling's off season, maybe they might be able to employ Robbie McEwan as a coach.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The big loop

That's the nickname in French of the Tour de France: la grande boucle. It's weird but wonderful to think that it'll be starting tomorrow in the streets of London. It's reassuring, too, to know that all 189 riders have signed the famous anti-doping chart imagined by the UCI [Union cycliste internationale]. In signing this draconian chart, a cyclist agrees to provide a DNA sample to the authorities investigating the so-called Puerto scandal. Furthermore, he declares that he's not involved in any ongoing doping affair, and that he doesn't intend to take dope. Finally, if ever he were to be caught cheating, he agrees to pay a fine to the UCI that would represent his total earnings for 2007.

The eyes of French spectators will be turned towards an amazing cyclist named Christophe Moreau, who recently won the prestigious Dauphiné Libéré and went on to become the 2007 road champion of France. He's amazing, above all, because of his age: 36. Many observers are convinced that Christophe's major motivation, which has pushed him to victory, is his first child, born on 23 April 2007. If so, that's certainly a far more healthier stimulus than dope.

Friday, June 22, 2007

America's Cup

Tomorrow, in the opening race of the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia, the Swiss defender Alinghi will be meeting up with the Kiwi challenger named Emirates Team New Zealand. From a purely sporting viewpoint, in this millionaires' hobby based upon the notion of mano-a-mano match racing, there's an intriguing flaw. Whereas the challenger has just endured an arduous series of races, acquiring practical experience out on the water, the defender has been sitting on the sidelines and merely watching, as it were. [This was not entirely true, since the defenders have been constantly match racing among themselves.] So, the New Zealand team will arrive at the starting line with their muscles flexed and their tactics tested, whereas the Swiss boat will normally need a little time to adapt itself to the atmosphere of combat. In the boxing domain, where there's a similar dissymmetry between the defender of a title and his challengers, the former has an opportunity of analyzing the weaknesses of his future opponent. In yachting, the situation is hardly comparable. Consequently, I feel that the Kiwi boat is the hot favorite, at least for tomorrow's first race.

My box of souvenirs holds my press card for the America's Cup regattas in Perth, which started in October 1986, with the finals being held in January 1987. At that time, my son and I were crew members aboard a local twelve-meter yacht, Zigeuner, and we had friends in the teams French Kiss and Challenge France. That was a short but exciting sunny sea-sprayed season in my life. At the height of the regattas, I helped the owner/skipper of the Zigeuner, Charles Russell-Smith, in the organization of a gentlemanly race between fourteen old-time boats that happened to be berthed at Fremantle during the America's Cup season, including several magnificent multi-masted vessels. Here's a newspaper photo of our own boat competing in this race, in which we ended up coming third:

In the context of our planning, one of my tasks had consisted of meeting up with the captain of the visiting Italian cruise ship Achille Laura, berthed at Fremantle, to provide him with precise information about our regatta, informing him that our old boats would be racing on a certain course, at a certain time, so that he would avoid maneuvering his vessel in ways that could interfere with our event... which was to be watched by spectators on countless small craft. Well, the captain of the Achille Laura was a smart bugger: smarter than me, in any case. With the aim of giving his passengers a closeup view of our regatta, he used the information I had given him to anchor his bloody big ship, in the early hours of the morning, right in the middle of our course!

Another happy memory of that season was my winning the journalists' prize for predicting the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers, and the average winning margin. I used the Pascal programming language on my little cubic Macintosh to create a software tool enabling me to record and compare the results of all the early races, and this helped me guess the final outcome with remarkable precision. The media-center organizers had proposed a first, a second and a third prize for this prediction competition, and my entry was so precise that they awarded me all three prizes! I've still got a couple of ugly reddish-plastic prize suitcases at Gamone, with the following label:

At our flat in Fremantle, the prize also enabled my son and me to drink M&H champagne for a few weeks.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Italian cyclist Basso out for two years

Ivan Basso, winner of last year's Giro, admitted recently that he was involved in the so-called Puerto doping scandal. Consequently, he has just been suspended for two years by the Italian cycling federation. Basso's reaction: "I made a mistake, and I have to pay for it."

An interesting question (of a purely theoretical nature, with no practical consequences) now arises. As recently as March 2007, Johan Bruyneel, sporting director of the Discovery Channel team, persisted in trying to justify retrospectively his selection of Basso as a team member. Should we therefore believe that Basso simply never got around to informing Bruyneel that he was actually guilty of doping?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Tennistic Amazons

I'll bet you didn't even know, up until reading the title of this post, that a lovely adjective such as "tennistic" could exist. Well, it does. At least in French. And why not in English? No need to answer that question. I've just waved my magic racket, and I henceforth own the copyright of "tennistic" as an English word. If you disagree, I ask you to take me to your leader, particularly if she's a Serbian wonder woman such as Jelena Jankovic or Ana Ivanovic. My god, these ladies have balls! That's all I can say, safely... otherwise one of them might feel offended and strike me mortally with her racket. Seriously, they're fabulous women, who seem to step right out of a Modigliani painting. Over the years, I've often fantasized about how I might act if I happened to find myself naked and all alone in a bedroom with one of those female creatures (?) who used to be described as East German swimming stars. What I mean to say is, would I have the time and force to do anything whatsoever before she bit off my masculine attributes and spat them out on the non-slip walkway alongside the pool? In the case of an Amélie Mauresco, at least I know that she would never be particularly concerned about the state of a poor male such as me. Playing best on grassy courts, she reserves her smashes for other Amazons. But Jankovic/Ivanovic (whom I cannot and do not wish to distinguish) trouble me. They're both so beautiful, so physically female, so powerful.