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Inside this week | It has to be the pinnacle
I’ve read a few posters on our website despairing of the good old days when the amateurs ruled the roost – in other words toffs who could afford to compete and didn’t have to get up, lick the motorway clean and work 26 hours a day down a mine.
Sure, it’s not like there isn’t a wealth disparity today. Given the chance, most nations would prefer to drink the Olympic pool, not swim in it. And the world’s shanty towns and townships are hardly overflowing with dressage and yachting clubs.
But if you want to gripe about the Olympics, at least target the millionaire professionals with the sound argument that if winning a gold medal isn’t the pinnacle of achievement in your sport, you shouldn’t be there.
Football and tennis are the most obvious culprits. Every Games has a shameful moment, and for me – forget about the badminton – it will be hard to top Maria Sharapova carrying her national flag at the opening ceremony.
I’ve had bigger gripes though – like why every other sports broadcast these days is commentated on by somebody two seconds ahead of the action. Ball’s still at the corner flag … meanwhile: “ROAR!!!!” or “Nej, nej, nej, nej”.
No danger of that happening at the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix this weekend, a splendid opportunity to sample what motorsport was like in bygone years. Sure, it was a sport for toffs then, and nothing’s really changed. It’s loud, frenetic and smells like the real deal, with the added bonus that you might get to see Prince Joachim crash his car.
Elsewhere, if you like fashion, reggae, watersports and paddling, you’re in luck. The ever-growing Fashion Festival will make catwalks of our streets from next Wednesday, the Harbour Festival is bringing culture and canoes to the city centre this weekend, while the Jamaican Independence celebrations will bring Kingston to København on Sunday.
Which fittingly is the day when the Jamaicans are expected to sweep the board in the 100-metre Olympic final – the absolute pinnacle of their sporting lives.