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Robert Dawson Scott on the chill in Olympic spirit.

I like ()lympic years. I quite enjoy all the hopping. skipping and jumping but the event which is really worth

. staying home for is the one where the commentators try to keep one step ahead of the viewers without revealing that the only reason they know more about synchronsied s\\ imrning or small—bore prone position rifle shooting is because they have the press pack. The result is usually a bumper crop of first class (‘olemanballs entries and a large helping of those wonderfully irrelevant little asides. Does it really help to know that the lady hurdler is a ‘plucky mother of two from Ashby dc la Zouche' when we‘re trying to decide ifshe‘ll tie up in the last few strides‘.’

The winter ()lypmies. now in full slither. offer particularly rich pickings. partly because it includes such obscure sports »— who ever hears about the two-man luge or double-aer toe-loops except in Olympic years and partly because there are absoutely no British competitors who stand a snowball‘s chance in hell ofwinning anything. Britain has scooped 5 golds in the


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whole history ofwinter Olypmics. no silvers and no bronzes. and this year doesn't look like changing anything. Our sole representative in the ladies luge event (‘a pretty chiropractor from Kent‘) practises in her back garden. for God‘s sake.

The commentators are already having to wrestle with pictures provided by an organisation which is not the BBC. ‘We can't see the winner crossing the line‘ apologised Barry Davies or was it Tony (iubba over pictures ofall the other competitors in the Ladies ten kilometre cross-country race ‘because the cameras were occupied elsewhere at the time.‘ I bet that pleased BBC TV‘s head of sport Jonathan Martin who has just shelled out £1 .75 million for the privilege. Having to introduce a British interest in most of the events ties them in even tighter knots. For the speed-skating the nearest thing to a British competitor they could find was the manager of the stadium the event is held in. Sure enough. they interviewed him.

Admittedly this was an extreme case. Usually there is somebody actually taking part and you see pictures of plucky young Amanda or Nigel (very tip-market. winter-sports) setting off gamer against overwhelming odds amid suggestions that if the second coming should occur in the next two minutes they might actually make it into the top ten. Later. much later. you see the results boa .‘d with the lads down in forty—ninth and fiftieth place ‘with

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Belt. The members at the Fun Show have now gone their separate ways (though the theatre company they helped create. the Merry Mac

Fun Co. still exists): Hen has recently started college. Mary is about to leave college. Jock


a personal best time for them and l'm : sure they'll all be delighted about that in West Byfleet.‘

The rnegastar of all these

no-hopers and also-tans is of course Eddie Edwards. the ski-juniper. Does anyone not know by now that l he is a myopic plasterer from i Chcltenham who stayed in a mental hospital when he was training in h Finland (not for treatment. though you might think he could do with some. but because it was the ' cheapest accommodation he could


. _ , | find) and that all his equipment is l cast-offs from the real teams‘.’ Well. i now you do. If it was up to me I'd i

merely excuses for being mediocre. Sport is about winning. about competition between individuals or sets of individuals for supremacy. You can’t just come along for the ride. Baron de (‘oubertin would be horrified if he thought that just turning up meant taking part. Eddie is as about as near to being part of the competition as .lohn (iummer is to being part of the government. So Eddie; pack it iii. will ya!

give anyone who flung themselves over a sheer drop at high speed on skis some sort of medal and if that's what puts lead in his pencil then good luck to him. What I cannot accept is that coming last should elevate you to the status of folk-hero as if it was a I good thing in itself. There is a great deal talked about the value ofsiinply

taking part. the ()lypinic ideal. the (‘orinthian code. Absolute bullshit;

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through places like unemployed workers' centres and Citizens' Rights Offices. The Fun Show agreed; this is the result - andthe Merry Macs cartoon-term will be regular guests in The List.

is still involved in theatre. Duncan isn‘t. Shortly atter the last Fun Show in August 87. Martin Grobnilt asked it the Fun Show characters could be used in cartoons about political and social issues to be distributed

4 l‘he list 1‘) Feb - 3 Mar l‘)t\’b’