The Olympics opening ceremony. An opportunity for the host city to showcase those things that set it apart. So Rio’s extravaganza will feature Gisele Bundchen getting mugged.
At least that’s the story that emerged from people who saw a dress rehearsal and were asked to keep quiet about it and didn’t.
In that version of proceedings, Bundchen is mugged by a young black boy whom she later protects from police as she spreads peace across the land.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, says filmmaker Fernando Meirelles, back-pedalling faster than the kangaroos on bikes at the Atlanta closing ceremony. (Twenty years on, it’s still a painful memory).
“There was nothing that looked like a robbery in the scene,” he scoffed. “Imagine us doing a scene like that in the opening. I’m not that clueless.”
Whatever the scene was, it’s now been cut. Expect to see plenty of this sort of thing, though.
In Rio itself, the muggings continue. And a disgusting thing called ‘gastrointestinal grift’. That’s where a con artist vomits on you and uses the distraction to steal your stuff. And that’s how Chinese hurdler Shi Dongpeng lost his luggage in his Rio hotel lobby.
One Kiwi sub-editor got a little carried with this story, plastering it with the headline: HEINOUS HURLING HEIST HORRIFIES HAPLESS HURDLER.
At the Olympic village, the Aussie team was down two laptops and a few team shirts after some enterprising thieves took advantage of a fire evacuation.
Now chef de mission Kitty Chiller, or Mr Bigglesworth as I prefer to call her, is on the warpath over silent fire alarms and building workers who smoke on the job in the non-smoking village. I bet she was such a dobber at school.
The world’s athletes have also had to come to terms with the revelation that they can’t access Pokemon Go. The horror, the horror. Perhaps someone can remind them why they’re in Rio.
Or they could chat to Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura, who has somehow found a way around the problem — and racked up $8000 in data roaming charges.
One of the most entertaining things about the Sochi Olympics was a Twitter hashtag called #SochiProblems, which parodied the shoddier Games preparations.
Rio has been similarly ripe for the picking and it’s our own Aussie basketball Andrew Bogut who’s stepped up to the free throw line with the hashtag #IOCLuxuryLodging.
Bogut has assured his followers there’s nothing wrong with the sleeping arrangements in the athletes’ village.
“At #IOCLuxuryLodging we believe a bed is not vital for sleep,” he tweeted. “Fine tuned athletes can sleep standing up.”
And here he is doing his own handyman repairs.
He could find high demand for his off-court services. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee will be staying in a luxury Norwegian cruise ship. #IOCLuxuryLodging indeed.
Mr Bigglesworth promises that our tallest Olympian is happy in his digs. “He’s got a big bed with a nice big mosquito net. He’s like a princess in there.”
On the subject of princesses, our own Mary of Denmark has turned her back on Australia, saying she’ll only support her homeland when we’re not competing against the Danes.
“But it would be great to get gold [for the Danes] and silver [for the Australians],” she says.
Fat chance, Princess. That’s her off the Christmas card list.
With fresh concerns about the water quality in Guanabara Bay — which is literally crap — Mr Bigglesworth has revealed the Aussies have had ‘very strict health and hygiene protocols for all water-based sports for several years now.’
Those protocols include “A – trying not to fall out of the boat. B – if they do fall out of the boat, to keep their mouth closed,” she said. Simple really.
Meanwhile, the main ramp used to launch boats at the sailing venue has fallen into the sea after being hit with some wind and waves. Wind and waves at the sailing — who could have foreseen such a thing?
Let the Games begin. Please…