I love the Olympics. I don’t care what specific sport or feat is on TV, I’ll bloody watch it. Pole vault? I’m here. 15,000,000km marathon or whatever? I’ll watch you for hours.
So it saddened me greatly when I learned the coronavirus pandemic was shutting down our 2020 Olympics I’d looked so forward to. I understand, of course. But that doesn’t make it any less shit.
But then my sister gave me a brilliant idea. What if Channel 7, who had the rights to the 2020 Summer Olympics, just streamed the entirety of the 2000s Olympics instead?
I’m talking the ENTIRE thing. None of this “best moments” business. I want every heat, every final, everything. I want to be able to turn my TV on for a period of weeks and have some sort of Olympic sport to watch. I can’t remember anything that happened in detail! I will be shocked anew at rogue wins and crazy losses!
But it’s more than that. I was a little kid when the Sydney Olympics happened. It was the most exciting thing I’d ever lived through. The air was electric with anticipation. Every man and their dog was wearing one of those garish rain jackets, working as a volunteer. I was fighting with my sister over who kept which Syd, Millie and Olly pin from the Sydney Morning Herald.
The 2000 Olympics MEANS something to Aussies. Let’s give it the 20th anniversary it deserves.
Here are a few highlights to get you (Channel 7) excited (are you reading this, Channel 7 execs).
1. That Iconic Opening Ceremony
Hot DAMN you guys! Nikki Webster’s debut! Horses fucking everywhere! Hills hoists! Tradies tap dancing! Green… aliens? Whatever. This was an Olympics masterpiece and has earned a place in our collective memory. It’s kitsch and I need to see it on TV once again.
2. Cathy Freeman’s Phenom 400m Performance
Our athletic darling Cathy. In that insane Nike suit. Gunning for gold in her home country, her first gold. And she just burns around the track like a sprinting GOD. She barely even PUFFS. It’s just so damn good.
3. Grant Hackett & Kieren Perkins Smoothly Grabbing Gold & Silver In 1500m Freestyle
The sheer domination of Aussie athletes on home turf was just SOMETHING, you know? It’s always nice seeing Aussies win shit, but seeing them win shit in SYDNEY? Next level.
When Grant and Kieren just cruised in for 1st and 2nd place in men’s 1500m freestyle, we all lost it. Also, remember how they were heaps hot and you had a sort of pre-teen crush on them? In a kinda Olympics context way?
4. The Dream With Roy & HG
Look, I’m sure if you watched the entirety of The Dream 20 years on in 2020, there would be something probbo in the mix. So it may not be for you, and I understand that. But if you can view it in context , FUCK those guys were funny.
The battered sav? Diddly squats? Hello boys? All the phenomenal gymnastic terms they came up with on the fly that had your entire fam in stitches on the couch.
Not to mention Fatso The Fat-Arsed Wombat the unofficial Olympic mascot, my god.
5. Eric The Eel
The Eric Moussambani Olympic story will absolutely bring a tear to your eye if you can’t remember it – ready? Eric, from Equatorial Guinea, had never seen an Olympic-sized swimming pool before.
He ended up winning his 100m freestyle heat with a time of 1:52.72 – the slowest in Olympic history – because the two other competitors in his race were disqualified. Hands up if you remember tuning in to Eric’s slow, but determined finish? I do. What a legend.
6. Jane Saville’s Devastating Walk Disqualification
Oh my god, I remember this vividly! The 20km women’s walk event, Jane Saville overtakes Italian walker Elisabetta Perrone, who either gets disqualified or drops out (I can’t remember and also that entire video ^^ is in Italian).
BUT! As she heads into the HOME STRETCH, like 19km under her belt, 1km to go vibes – she herself gets disqualified! She broke down in tears, and so did child-me who didn’t really understand how devastating that must have been, but empathised nonetheless.
7. Tatiana Gregorieva’s Pole Vault
Tatiana – who I had a huge girl crush on as a kid – made it to the women’s final for pole vault. Naturally, this made her a household name as we all tuned in to see if she could take it out. She didn’t manage it – making it to a world record height but missing the mark. Still, she scored the silver and a personal best jump, which is pretty damn amazing.
Also, I distinctly remember her being married to the Aussie guy pole vaulter, who looked like a Ken doll.
Wanna petition with me? I went ahead and made a bloody change.org one.
Come on, Channel 7. You know what to do.