It’s hard not to swell with patriotic nationalism at times of sporting events like the Olympics. Sport is splashed across all forms of media, impossible to avoid -“ if you love it, heaven has arrived a little early; if not, so be it. It is after all only two solid weeks out of your life.

Viewing the most amazing gymnastics routines seen in the past 10 years, one hears a casual remark, Twenty years ago I held a cross like that on the rings -“ but I was 15kg lighter, much, much fitter, and then they changed the routines.

It’s truly incredible to watch those gorgeous boys and girls -“ was I really one of them not so long ago? Yes, time flies.

Tales retold lengthen with time, and a 15-second skill in a training session has become merely a part of a glorious golden career. The real shame of the paragraph is that today mental recollection, factual history and believability pull against each other in opposing directions, appointing the reader as judge and jury.

Of course we are more intelligent than that -“ we quickly distinguish between fact and fiction.

It is much more important that we pay attention to the harsh training regimes undertaken by these poor elite stars to arrive at the pinnacle of international competition. Never do we allow ourselves, even for the briefest moment, to be distracted by the fitness, flexibility, muscular bodies, or awesome skill displays. It is all about the sports display.

As world records tumble our tiny population demonstrates its values to the world’s best. Though few in numbers, we play sport as well as the best of any country in the world.

Familiar faces are seen on the sidelines -“ our most recent exports are sports coaches. Not only do we play to win, our coaches coach winners. So our bigger competitors don’t feel threatened, we provide them with expertise to enhance the competition worldwide. We really are a nation of patriots and proud of our nationality.

So we cry with our medallists, shout at the TV to change the results of the 19th replay, and berate the poor efforts of those who came third, ninth or did not qualify.

What? No Australian in the final? What is wrong with Australian swimming, cycling, athletics, rowing, or gymnastics?

Come on, couch potato, enough dreaming. It is time you moved your bum and got out to play. No matter how active your brain and emotions, it is body time.

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