If there was any lingering doubt after Sydney’s 2000 Olympics, the Gay Games in 2002 proved once and for all that our community is not immune to the power of sport. No wonder, really. We appreciate competition and beautiful bodies as just another part of an average night out.
This year’s Olympics are not going to be easy for the average queer nine-to-fiver to obsess over, whatever Channel Seven may say. The morning and afternoon sessions finish at about midnight, our time, but a lot of the finals are in the evening sessions (which run from about midnight to 7am). So while a lot of good events are happening within reasonable hours, some of the sports bound to particularly please us are not -“ unless you’re a club kid willing to sacrifice a night on the podium to watch TV.
For starters, if you don’t want to sit through a full repeat on Saturday morning at 11:30am, the opening ceremony starts at 3:30am Saturday (14 August). The match between Australia’s world-class women’s soccer team the Matildas and Greece is being televised in full on SBS (who have been warming us up for weeks with documentaries like Champions of Olympia, pictured) -“ at 1:45am Sunday. Other favourites like the men’s and women’s 4x100m freestyle swimming final will be shown live between 3:30am and 4am on Saturday and Sunday. The men’s gymnastics team final is on at 3:30am Tuesday, and the women’s individual all-around event at 4am Friday. And if you’re up for 10 seconds at 6:10am on Monday 23 August, you’ll see the most exciting event of the whole Games, the men’s 100m final.
Other events, like the Greco-Roman wrestling, cater to normal Australian sleep patterns, and the afternoon and early evening of Tuesday 24 August is the best time to catch that. The women’s triathlon, the men’s volleyball final, and the men’s water polo final are also all scheduled for before bedtime.
True Olympic nuts -“ the ones who can’t cope with missing live events -“ will have to take the fortnight off work. Those of us who can’t will just have to suffer two weeks of sleeplessness, lonely middle-of-the-night celebrations and the inevitable yobboism that comes from watching so much sport. Take heart in thinking of how much watching Sydney’s Games would have sucked for the rest of the world. Or take a TV into work to watch the highlight shows which kick off at 9:30am every day. Review: Stacy Farrar