Dom Joly: Beautiful Blanka out of reach in the village of sin

As the Games draw to a close, my thoughts turn to sex, a stunning Croatian and the art of aiming high

Share
Related Topics

It's her eyes that really get me – big, gorgeous green pools magnified a thousandfold on the huge screens that hang above the "Bird's Nest" Stadium. It is the very last event of the last evening of track and field, and this is the one I've been waiting for: the women's high jump and I'm in love... big time.

I'm reliably informed by a couple of ex-Olympic athletes I happen to know that the Olympic Village is something of a shagfest. It makes sense, of course. It's an extremely confined living space in which some of the world's fittest men and women are forced to bunk up for two weeks far, far away from home.

Then there's the element of competition after training for four years for something that might not last any longer than 10 seconds – you wouldn't be surprised, win or lose, if an athlete might not look around for either a little "consolation" or even a reward that might last a tiny bit longer.

One of my sources was quite explicit: "The swimmers are the worst. Pretty much all their events happen in the first week and then it's party time. And they've got the best bodies... "

Another informer told me a graphic story of a late-night encounter at the last Olympics with a Scandinavian decathlete on a pole pault landing-mat that was straight out of the pages of Penthouse.

The Times ping-pong correspondent over here, Matthew Sayed, told me that when he was playing table tennis for Great Britain in Barcelona he "got laid more times than in my whole life up until then ..." When questioned further he admitted that the number of "conquests" was two (he was a late developer) but if a ping-pong player is doing well, just imagine what the rest are up to!

With this situation fairly common knowledge it's a matter of some concern to many journalists in Beijing that their passes do not allow them access into the Village of Sin. You can understand why we are kept out, though. Athletes don't want media snoopers staring at them over breakfast or taking secret snaps on drunken evenings. Also, on a more practical point, just looking at the shape that most of the media pack out here are in, they probably just don't want us weakening the gene pool.

As a happily married man these kinds of shenanigans are obviously not my bag anyway. My romantic interests out here have been confined to a pathetically unrequited long-distance crush on a Croatian. Which brings me to the ladies' high jump.

As a much younger and slimmer me I was something of a high jumper myself. It wasn't something that you trained for or did any practice in. It was just something I seemed to be quite good at. Every year I would just turn up and do pretty well at school sports day (1.78 metres, since you ask). I genuinely loved the event – there is little more satisfying in life than the feeling of hitting the mat knowing you have cleared the bar. It's very Zen.

Already an aficionado of the sport, I was even more hooked when I first saw a photo of the current world champion Blanka Vlasic (right) who is hands down the most gorgeous competitor at these Olympics. The "Tall Women Admirers Complete Resource Page" (I kid you not) informed me that she is 6ft 4in, beautiful and a shoe-in for the gold medal. She was even expected to break the current world record of 2.09m. It was going to be a bumper evening for fans of very tall women high jumpers from Croatia ... like me.

It all went very smoothly to start with. Blanka (as I call her) cleared every height effortlessly and I could see (through my high-powered binoculars fixed permanently on her) that she seemed totally relaxed and focused and... pretty... so very pretty.

Then, disaster! She failed her first attempt at 2.05m. There was a sudden flash of vulnerability in those big green eyes and I longed to jump down from the first tier and run to comfort her. Sadly, I'm a former high jumper, not high dropper, and I was quite far up. Also, there was a very muscular Chinese security man just to my left and I was pretty sure he was packing a piece. Poor, beautiful Blanka cleared the height on her second attempt but she was now vulnerable against an unfancied (and unfanciable) bespectacled Belgian, Tia Hellebaut (pictured left), who was on fire.

This upstart librarian had cleared the 2.05m on her first attempt. When Blanka failed to clear 2.07m with any of her following three attempts, it was all over. Hellebaut instantly became the "fifth famous Belgian" of the Games, along with her four compatriots who took silver in the 4x100m relay. Blanka, my lovely Blanka, was in total despair.

I wandered out of the "Bird's Nest" for the last time and trudged back alone to my hotel room on the third floor of the MPC (room number 0535: no pressure... ).

As I slipped into my cold, lonely bed with only the uber-dull CNN for company I looked out of the window and could see the lights burning brightly over in the Olympic Village. I buried my head deep into my pillow and wept like a baby.

It's really time I came home.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mechanical Design Engineer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: MECHANICAL D...

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Tiger skin seized from a smuggler by customs officers in Lhasa, Tibet  

Save the tiger: Poaching facts

Harvey Day
 

Save the tiger: 7 saddening facts about the extinction of Javan tigers

Harvey Day
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried