Friday, 12 February 2010

fly like a bird

A news item caught my ear on the radio this morning. It relates to this story about the international Olympic committee's decision not to allow women to compete at Olympic level in the ski jump event in 2010. Apparently the women's ski jump lobby have been pushing for years with no effect. The reason cited by the IOC is that there are too few nations able to compete at the elite level despite there being more women and more countries involved at that level than in other allowed Olympic events. The speculation is that having women competitors would undermine the masculinity associated with it and affect the sponsorship revenues of the rough tough derring doers who want to maintain the awe they inspire every time they throw themselves off that ramp. What I really liked was the aside that said that women have been ski jumping since the 1880s but at that time they could only do it if they held a man's hand! I wouldn't do it holding hands or otherwise.

In the 80s (1980s not 1880s) I was in Innsbruck with best mate and a local lad named Georg (pronounced Gay-org) showed us round the city. He told us how a car manufacturer had filmed an ad where they sent a car down the ramp there. Incredibly they did it with a driver at the wheel and two of these guys were hospitalised with serious injuries. Perhaps they should have held a lady's hand.

Incidental to this Georg wore lederhosen which he proudly boasted had been both his father's and his grandfather's before him. And they had never been washed. I hope, if he has passed them on to his son, that someone has at least given them a wipe over with a J-cloth.


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