Sunshine, wine and skimpy underwear

Two sausages and a plastic mug of warm chardonnay sure beats a landmine up the back escalator
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The Independent Online

Robert Hughes, Clive James, Kathy Lette - all Australian émigrés who have been sent back to their native coutntry to report on it. Well, this column does not like to be left out of things, so we have rounded up the few expatriate Australians left who don't seem to have been signed up for the Olympics...

Robert Hughes, Clive James, Kathy Lette - all Australian émigrés who have been sent back to their native coutntry to report on it. Well, this column does not like to be left out of things, so we have rounded up the few expatriate Australians left who don't seem to have been signed up for the Olympics...

From Rolf Harris in Sydney

Hello, everybody, this is me down under in the land of the cuddly koala and kangaroo, and what have we got here looking so sad and sorry for itself? Oh, dear, it's a little tennis player called Tim, and what's the matter with Tim? He's been kept in overnight in a state of shock, has he? He got knocked out in the first round by someone whose name he couldn't even pronounce and now he's feeling sore and bruised all over?

Well, Tim, one thing you learn in this life is that we don't get better by just sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, what you have to do is get up and go back at it, get back on the tennis court and just hit that little old ball as hard as ever you can!

Look, to cheer you up, I'll do a drawing of it, here's the tennis ball, that's easy to draw, now here's Tim hitting it, well, it doesn't look exactly like you but that's because I've given you a smile, Tim, and in real life you haven't got a smile at the moment, which is a shame.

So remember, it's never too late to get on the comeback trail, because just when everyone's written you off they may find you headlining at the Glastonbury Festival, so good luck, sport!

From Germaine Greer in Sydney

The question often comes to haunt me, as I wander this dangerously disturbed city: why would two women want to race each other, anyway? Why should two females of the human species want to dress up in skimpy underwear which reveals every detail of their oh-so-bulging muscles, and tear off down painted tramlines which bring them back right where they started from?

One can see why men should want to do it. For fear of fighting each other and hitting each other over the head, men have to invent sports which sublimate those instincts. Even then, men have still retained the one sport which encourages them to dress up in motorbike helmets and hit each other. Boxing. But what do we women have instead of boxing? What are the Olympic sports indelibly associated with women? Beachball, I venture to suggest, and synchronised swimming. In other words, the two sports designed by men to allow them watch the female body beautiful ripple and ooze and act almost as if it were nude. No wonder, just occasionally, a woman like Marie-Jose Perec sees the enormity of it all, turns tail on the whole thing and flees. Well done, I say!

From Sir Les Paterson in Sydney

I well remember waking up after the Melbourne Olympics way back in 1956 with a terrific hangover, and saying: "We must do this again one day!", and here we are at it again already. Of course, in those days I wasn't Australia's Roving Ambassador of Culture yet - roving, yes, but not the other two - but already I could see that having a party was better than having a war. "Two sausages on a stick and a plastic mug of warm chardonnay may not seem like much," was my motto, "but it sures beats a landmine up the back escalator!" and I think I have been proved right.

We in Australia have the best sunshine, the best barbecues and the best wine in the world, which explains why we haven't got the best athletes. Who'd want to run around all day in a beaut climate like ours? And those sportsmen we do have seem to have their brains shrivelled so they can't even spell. Mark Phillipopopolous, or whatever - and Lleighton Hewitt - who ever heard of a double LL at the start of a name in the civilised world, for Christ's sake!

But for me the Olympics is a social event, and I believe in making our visitors feel wanted. Only yesterday I was going round a hotel in Sydney greeting foreign athletes, and I found myself in the room of a handsome dark French girl. "G'day, Miss Perec," I told her, and advanced towards her holding out a hand. I think it was a hand. Anyway, she shrieked and ran out of the room, and never came back. If she should read this, let's have a drink of reconciliation. My room number is 1928. The ball's in your court, mademoiselle.

Coming next, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, etc

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