Saturday 24 February 2018

Kevin Myers: I yearn for the London Olympics to fail -- I cheer news of poor ticket sales

Kevin Myers

Part of me would rather see orphans eaten by dogs rather than allow the Olympian flame pass me unmolested. Every charitable impulse within me dies whenever I consider the forthcoming Olympics: yes, I yearn for the London Olympic to fail; I cheer news of poor ticket sales, and daily pray for a fresh and cataclysmic drugs scandal.

For it is my fondest hope that mankind soon reverts to that peaceful, pre-Olympian orbit in which the world had so faithfully turned before the 19th Century ended, the starter's pistol sounded, and the century of murder began.

The first Olympics were merely foreplay to war: from an amiable fondle upon a sporting Mons Veneris in Athens in 1896 to a hasty retreat from quite another Mons 18 years later. The most honest Olympics of the 20th Century took place in 1936, when the analogy with war was not in the least figurative.

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