Beyond the golden mirage

I write for a living. Have done, in one way or another, for more than 30 years. Yet there are days when I can barely string two words together. Other days where they flow freely enough but sit like beads on a cheap necklace. And other days, rare days, when I surprise even my biggest…

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Men behaving badly in Rio

The biggest Olympic stories of the past 24 hours have involved the off-field antics of US swimmer Ryan Lochte and the arrest of a naked IOC official. As a refresher, here’s Lochte’s original story about being held up at gunpoint in Rio. It’s unravelled faster than Australia’s hopes of a top five finish. First Lochte…

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Aussie sailors plunder Olympic booty

After two full blingless days, our sailors have got the Australian medal tally ticking over again, bless their soggy cotton socks. Tom Burton had to finish six places ahead of Croatian Tonci Stipanovic to secure gold. With some tactical brilliance I don’t begin to understand, he forced Stipanovic into a penalty turn at the start,…

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Catch him if you can

Always a great day at work when the worlds fastest man pops by #gettysport @usainbolt pic.twitter.com/Bfqjb9T4wN — Cameron Spencer (@cjspencois) August 15, 2016 The crowd sentiment was clear. They all wanted Bolt to win. And if he couldn’t, anyone but Cheaty McCheatface. Before the race, Bolt was cheered. The runner formerly known as Justin Gatlin…

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Why I love the men’s 10,000 metres

It’s because of Cathy Freeman that I love the men’s 10,000 metres. Not that she competed in it. Wrong gender for a start. And her specialty was a good 9.6 kilometres short of the distance. But I was in the Sydney Olympics stadium for Freeman’s epic 400 metres win on 25 September 2000.   And…

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The King is dead

The 1,500 metres showdown between Mack Horton and drug cheat Sun Yang is not to be. The self-proclaimed King, Sun Yang bombed out in the heats of his pet event. Couldn’t even break 15 minutes, which is 1,500 metres for dummies these days. Afterwards, he was full of excuses. He was sick, he said. Had…

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Kid wags school, steals gold medal

For the first 85 metres of the 100 metres freestyle final, Kyle Chalmers swam in invisibility togs. No one could see him. The commentators didn’t mention him, except to write him off at the turn. I’ve looked at the footage and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t even in the pool at that point. I reckon…

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How green was my diving pool?

It may not be as bad as Guanabara Bay but something is clearly not right with the Olympic diving pool. Athletes and spectators looked on aghast yesterday as the pool water turned into something resembling a dodgy creme de menthe concoction. The people supposed to be in the know didn’t have the first clue what…

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Up your bum, Ric Charlesworth

There’s one in every crowd. The killjoy hell bent on dampening everyone’s enthusiasm. So as Australia celebrated its gold medal win in the women’s rugby sevens, former hockey player and coach Ric Charlesworth was there with the bucket of cold water. “I think the women’s rugby sevens is a soft event,” he said. “I don’t…

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He’s baa-aaa-aack

As Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett will tell you, comebacks are hard. So it’s a big deal Michael Phelps is at the Rio Olympics at all. No other bloke has swum at five Games. And no one of his vintage has a right to be doing this. The legendary turn tho https://t.co/UNt5zWt7DL by @ScottPorter via…

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Stop the Games, we’re winning!

One of the best things about the Olympics is the blubbing. Especially when the sooky la-la is a villain getting their comeuppance. I’m talking about Chinese swimmer Sun Yang. Done for doping two years ago, Sun’s also been known to drive unlicensed, run his Porsche into the back of a bus, provoke his competitors and…

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Does Russian sport have a reading problem?

“What should Russian athletes do?” asked Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko. “Dance on the table? Sing a song?” Mutko was pondering aloud what Russia has to do to gain admission to the Olympic track and field competition after the world athletics body extended its ban over last year’s doping scandal. With Russia’s 2012 Eurovision entry…

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