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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Analyst (Requirements gathering)

£23000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Data Analyst vacan...

SAP Data Migration Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am interested in speaking to Data Migr...

Web Services Developer

£200 - £450 per day: Harrington Starr: Web Services Developer Web Services, WP...

Project Manager - (Housing Association, Prince 2) - Watford

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Project Manager - (Housin...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Brazil fans are devastated while watching the first half on Copacabana Beach during the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final match between Brazil and Germany on July 8, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The winner advances to the final at the famed Maracana stadium.  

The response to Brazil's defeat has been a surreal exploration of loss and tragedy

Timothy Kennett
The Daily Prophet newspaper - closer to fact than fiction?  

The response to the new Harry Potter story by the muggle media is fantastically ironic

Anna Leszkiewicz
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil