Centrist Dad

Like Suni Lee, I blame Twitter for all my under-achievements

Agog at the athletic prowess on display at the Olympics, Will Gore tries to find an excuse for his chronic procrastination

Saturday 07 August 2021 21:30
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<p>Suni Lee ‘only’ got bronze in the uneven bars (on top of a gold and silver in other events)</p>

Suni Lee ‘only’ got bronze in the uneven bars (on top of a gold and silver in other events)

The Olympics is at once the greatest sporting inspiration and the most desperate emphasiser of most people’s athletic inadequacy.

Twelve-year-olds are skateboarding to the podium; I couldn’t stand still on a board, let alone ride it. Swimmers complete four lengths of a pool in the time it takes me to do one – though I’m pretty sure my local pool is about half the size of the one in Tokyo, so I’m probably flattering myself. And l suspect my most productive activity in track and field would be building a sandcastle in the long jump pit.

There have been occasional hints of the strains that can accompany top-level sporting endeavours, most notably in Simone Biles’s withdrawal from most of the gymnastics events in order to protect her mental health. And I don’t suppose there are many serious people watching the Games who assume the triumphs come easily.

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