Attracted by the sheen of gold

Twenty years ago, during the 1984 Olympic in Los Angeles, I was on a Brownie camp. While my fellow Brownies and I were off dancing around the paper mache mushroom, or whatever it was that we did on those camps, one of the leaders was off in her car listening to the radio.

Suddenly she shot out of her car and came running over to us as she screeched (in a way that only women in their 40s can screech), “WE’VE GOT GOLD!”

Tonight I left work at around the same time that Mary-Kate and Ashley’s race started. I figured that I’d get the race results when I got home, but I didn’t count on the bus driver. I arrived at the bus with a hearty 10 minutes to spare. As I boarded I was engulfed by some horrible AM station. The announcer had the most annoying New Zillun accent imaginable – the kind of accent that parents make their kids go to speech lessons to overcome. He was excitedly recounting how the “Evers-Swindoow twuns” had won a gold medal. The drought is over, a nation rejoices, etc.

A few stops down the route home, a fellow got on and excitedly announced that “we’ve won a gold”. He and the bus driver than started discussion the Olympics. Their topic of conversation got on to discussing what are “proper” Olympic sports and what aren’t. In short, they decided:

Proper Olympic Sports
Shot put
Long jump
High jump

Not Proper Olympic Sports
Synchronised swimming
Synchronised diving
Any sport where the winner is decided by judging.

Sports that would be ok to include as an Olympic sport
Darts, because it’s not unlike archery, which is proper.

My stop didn’t come soon enough.

Sanity barely intact, I staggered home and caught a reporter interviewing the medal winners, who are now being nicknamed “The Golden Girls”, which, quite frankly, is an insult to that great sitcom.

The reporter asked them what it was like having the “hopes of the nation” weighing upon them, but one of them (which?) said they didn’t, and they were really just doing it for themselves. The reporter was trying to nudge them to make some sort of statement like “Thank you to all New Zealanders for your support,” but on the two occasions they were offered to make such a statement, they failed to take her bait. In the end the reporter gushed, “Gosh, I think I’m more excited than you are!” and then thrust her microphone back at one of them (which?) for her reaction. How do you react when someone wants your response to their spurt of verbal diarrhoea? By remaining super cool.

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