You know, I wasn’t at all interested in checking out the games before they started. Didn’t buy any tickets, didn’t watch the opening ceremoney (a flying tram? A thong with wings? A boy with a duck? What the hell?), and I absolutely had no intention of watching any of the events. I wasn’t alone. Tickets sales have been low right up to the start of the games, and organisers and media were theorising about how much money the state government would lose. But this is Melbourne, the most sports-mad state in Australia, and when the games began, the crowds came out in full to support it. All you had to do was look at the sheer numbers they had lining the marathon course to see that. Personally, I think everyone was just waiting to see if the ticket prices would come down. Melburnians love their sport, but they also love a bargain 😉
And as much as I didn’t want to, I got drawn in. How could you not? There’s been some mighty fine moments already in these games. And I’m not talking just about the gold medals, though Australia has won plenty of those already. And yeah, who didn’t have a tear in their eyes when Aussie Marathon winner Kerryn McCann ran over to her family sitting in the crowd, grabbed her son and just about crushed him in a bear hug, then did a lap of the MCG holding his hand? The grin on that kids face was as big as the G itself.
But it’s the other moments–the non-winning moments–that are often more powerful. To me, at least. Take the marathon as an example. Aussie marathon runner Kate Smythe was just about done in by the time she got to the G. She was leaning so far back as she ran she looked ready to fall flat on her back, and there was a very real danger she’d collapse long before she got to the line. But she was determined to run on, and with the crowd at her back, did so, despite her legs going every which way except where she wanted them. Tenacity, determination and courage at it’s finest. She came seventh. Or how about the male marathoner who’s feet were bloody, but who wouldn’t stop, because this was the games and he wasn’t going to not finish? Or the unknown west australian swimmer who swam the race of his life against world record holders to come in a mighty third? That’s the stuff that makes these games. That’s why I’m now stuck with watching it. I don’t care who wins the medals–though yeah, it’s nice when Australia does–what I love watching is the drama, the passion, and the sheer, bloody determination of all the althetes. Now, that’s what makes good TV.
Writing wise, well, I got 4 pages of the fifth Riley written, and a bit of a clearer idea of where this story is going. I’m still not sure who the bad guy is in this one, and until I figure that out, I guess this story won’t be going that far. In the mean time, I’m going to try and get another five pages of my Loch Ness story done. If I don’t get sidelined by the games again, that is 😉