It's not the winning, it's the taking pot

'Several commissioners have failed a random bribe test. They were offered bribes and refused them'
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The Independent Online

Today the Olympic Games open in Sydney - no, don't stop reading! This is the one day on which all the nations of the earth come together in man's common urge, shared since time began, to shave another 100th of a second off the world record for running 400 metres on an oval track that brings you back to the very spot where you started from. A truly noble purpose.

Today the Olympic Games open in Sydney - no, don't stop reading! This is the one day on which all the nations of the earth come together in man's common urge, shared since time began, to shave another 100th of a second off the world record for running 400 metres on an oval track that brings you back to the very spot where you started from. A truly noble purpose.

In case you won't be able to watch the ceremony on television as it goes out live, I am bringing you now the run-down of the main events so that you can relive them in your own time and in your own home. All timings are approximate.

10am: Ceremony opens, with parade of International Olympic Commissioners down the track.

10.01am: False start. Commissioners sent back to starting blocks. Slow-motion video replay shows that several commissioners had beaten the gun, mostly through being too old and deaf to hear it.

10.04am: Commissioners get away to a clean start.

10.07am: Commissioners bunched together half-way down the track, holding up the Olympic banner with the Olympic motto: "The Important Thing Is Not to Win, but to Take Bribes".

10.14am: Release of 10,000 doves over the Olympic Stadium.

10.15-10.20am: Squads of cleaners remove dove-droppings from stadium floor. David Coleman says: "The doves are nervous, and - goodness me! - who wouldn't be on this great day?"

10.23am: Commissioners' parade nearly finished. Some lean on each other and are disqualified.

10.25am: Entry of lone runner with Olympic torch, who has run all the way from somewhere just outside the stadium, thus completing the last link in a chain that stretched all the way back to McDonald's in Athens.

10.26am: The lone runner circles the track in complete silence, lapping some of the commissioners, who refuse to leave the track unless bribed to do so. She is an unmarried Australian runner of mixed Asian and Aboriginal parentage with one child, symbolising viewers around the globe who couldn't get a baby-sitter today.

10.28am: David Coleman says: "She's so far ahead that none of the other runners has appeared yet! What a display of running from the front!" He is taken aside and put right.

10.30am: News comes through that of the 10 doves randomly tested after the fly-past, six have failed an illicit bird-seed test. Hemp, cannabis and other substances are said to have been found. "This is going to cast a shadow over the whole games," says David Coleman.

11.00am: The lone runner climbs the steps to the Olympic bowl and lights the Olympic flame. Symbolically, thousands of $1 notes are released and flutter to the ground, where they are collected by the commissioners.

11.10am: The parade of nations begins. First is the Australian team, resolutely dressed in uniforms that have nothing Australian about them.

11.14am: The Australian team are stopped on the track by the Australian immigration and customs services squad, for search and inspection purposes. This is in response to protests that the other teams have come through rigorous searches at the airport, and it is unfair if the Aussies don't as well.

11.15am: Aussie team declared clean as a whistle. "This is going to give the games the great send-off it needed," says an emotional David Coleman.

11.37am: News comes through that several commissioners have failed a random bribe test. They were offered bribes and failed to take them. They have been disqualified.

11.40am: News comes through that the lone Olympic runner has been disqualified for refusing to eat a Big Mac, the official greed symbol of the games. "This sends out a message that nobody wants to hear," says David Coleman.

12.00pm: The Kuwaiti team march on to the Iraqi national anthem. Testing of musicians shows presence of beer in many players' blood-system.

12.20pm: Random testing of Olympic flame shows presence of carcinogenic substances that are against international combustion agreements. Olympic flame is disqualified. "Oh, this is the sort of thing of which we want less rather than more on such a hopefully great day as this," says David Coleman.

12.21pm: David Coleman is randomly tested and disqualified after traces of...

This article has been discontinued after traces of libel have been discovered following a random legal search.

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