Barcelona begs the question

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HAVE you been following the Olympics? Think you know your way around the Games by now? Well, here is your chance to test yourself with a topical quiz.

1 Why are people saying that Spanish judo referees should be subject to random drug tests?

2 Why, if judo is one of the eternally graceful oriental fighting arts, do the contestants always seem to be lying on the floor in dressing gowns, scrabbling at each other like two tom cats?

3 Are you old enough to remember a time when sprinters didn't look like weightlifters?

4 Are you old enough to remember a time when they didn't have random drug tests, only random sex tests?

5 Range the following television commentators' remarks in order of annoyance.

a) 'He's going for gold]'

b) 'He's powering down the back straight]'

c) 'The British girl has a lot to do.'

d) 'He's powering down the back straight and going for gold]'

e) 'Brendan . . ?'

f) 'They all have a lot to do.'

g) 'On the day, it just wasn't her day.'

h) 'But it wasn't to be.'

6 You're watching the athletics. The crowd in the Barcelona arena has just let out an enormous shout as something incredibly exciting happens. However, the camera is pointing at nothing more exciting than a woman taking her tracksuit off. The commentator is saying: 'Well, Sheila has set her heart on a medal here, but she is up against some very powerful opposition, and she hasn't really been at her best since 1988 . . .'

a) What makes you know in your heart of hearts that the crowd is not shouting at the sight of Sheila taking off her tracksuit, but something much more interesting off-screen?

b) And why is the commentator pretending that this other, more fascinating, event is not even happening?

7 Why, if athletes take such trouble to wear skintight clothes that don't flap and are totally streamlined, do so many wear gold chains with medallions that bang up and down on their chests as they run?

8 How many times have you switched on, and your first reaction was: 'Hold on - is this a men's or women's event?'

9 On Saturday, a British woman judo contestant was being consoled for some disappointment by a TV interviewer, and she said (I kid you not): 'Well, at the end of the day you're a professional and you've just got to get on with the job.' What do you think this tells us about:

a) The amateur ideals of the Olympics today?

b) The possibility of the end of the recession?

c) Anything at all?

10 What are the chief ways in which you think the presence of professional tennis players enhances the Olympic ideal?

11 Did you know that roller hockey is being tried out as a demonstration sport at this year's Olympics, as is pelota?

12 How much does that piece of information enrich your life?

a) Not a lot.

b) Not at all.

c) Never mind about that - any news from the Olympic baseball series?

13 Under what names were the following teams previously known?

a) Unified States

b) International Olympic Persons

c) United Heptathletes

d) The oh-so-unlucky British girls' relay team

e) The other Chinese team

f) The Duke of Norfolk's XI.

14 Put forward a good case, in not more than 12 words each, for the inclusion in future Olympics of the following sports:

a) Boules

b) Darts

c) Yard-of-ale drinking

d) Grand Prix racing

e) Mountaineering

f) Welly throwing.

15 If a foreign runner loses, our commentators call him 'unfortunate', but if he is British he is 'desperately unlucky'. Spot the British alternative in the following commentators' pairs:

a) She's justifiably downhearted/she's absolutely heartbroken.

b) Supremely confident/swaggering.

c) It's a personal best performance/it's the race of a lifetime]

d) Oh-so-desperately near/it wasn't really good enough.

e) He did as well as he could/

he gave everything.

f) She showed the most unbelievable bravery/if she had had any sense, she would have retired long before.

(In the Olympic spirit, send your answers in with a bundle of used fivers. Highest bid wins.)