Fiona McCade: Weight-lifting with a difference for 2014
For some of us, the London Olympics are already a vague memory. For many of us, incontrovertible proof that the Games happened is right in front of our eyes, 24/7, and will probably stay there for a good long time.
It seems that although the Great British public may have applauded the competitors throughout this festival of sporting supremacy, we didn’t do much else. In fact, during the 17 days of the XXX Olympiad, the average Brit gained four-and-a-half pounds of weight and ate 12,000 calories more than they would have done if they hadn’t been celebrating the ultimate in athletic achievement.
Whenever you hear commentators going on about how brilliantly Great Britain did in the Games, it might be worth remembering that although a few of our very best people did very well in our name, most of us are even fatter and flabbier than we were a couple of weeks ago. Team GB has “inspired a generation” all right – to sink even more complex carbs down our gullets, while we recline on our well-upholstered posteriors to cheer on the world’s best from a comfortable distance. Well, at least our channel-flicking fingers got a bit of exercise.
It’s pathetic, isn’t it? That the immediate social legacy of London 2012 is a nationwide spare-tyre problem. I hoped that the Olympics might get people enthused about trying a bit of physical exertion, but all it’s done is confirm that we’ve actually slipped even further down into the squishy sofa of existence than anybody realised, and it’ll take more than a few weeks of extreme sporting excellence to pull us out again.
Luckily, I have some ideas about how to do it. I’ve developed a post-Olympic fitness plan and I’m going to recommend it to the government. We have to do something for the millions of Britons who didn’t realise that the effects of all those celebratory drinks and snacks weren’t going to magically disappear the moment the flame went out in London.
First of all, we have to start manufacturing really heavy beer-cans. Then at least every time a couch-potato raises a drink to his or her lips, they’ll be giving their biceps a decent workout.
I’m also thinking that it might be a good idea to make fridges with solid steel doors. Then, if you can actually open the damned thing, you definitely deserve whatever you were looking for.
We also need to talk to the fast-food companies about how they can help tone up the sagging population. I’m thinking “Pizza Sprint”. If you can chase the delivery boy on his moped for 100 metres and still have enough breath left to confirm your order, you can go ahead and eat.
It’s wonderful to watch great sportspeople at the top of their game, but it’s sad that we’ve reached the stage when, compared to these muscled machines, the average human is starting to look like a completely different species. I’d like to see some of that dedication to fitness becoming more widespread, instead of ordinary people just looking more… wide and spread.
When you think that Great Britain, as a whole, just put on 2.7 million stone, you realise that this problem needs addressing more often than every four years.
In fact, Scotland has to take action sooner than that, because Glasgow 2014 is just 705 days away and we don’t want the Commonwealth to see us as a nation of butterballs, do we?
We need to start planning immediately. We need to aim for some real, long-term success in the field of human physical endeavour and say to the watching world: “Forget blobby Britain! Look what Scotland can achieve! From 23 July to 3 August, 2014, the average Scot will LOSE 4.5lb!” That’ll show everyone. No more deep-fried Mars bar jokes after that.
All this has given me a fantastic idea for bringing a proper reality check into the godlike world of sport. At the next Olympiad, they should award a medal for the country that loses the most weight overall, during the period of the competition. At last – one gold that the United States has absolutely no chance of winning.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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