Sport always has been an individual undertaking, even if fit is done team wise. The fight is first of all with one’s own shortcomings, technically and in terms of condition. The nation of sporters is a nation of individuals who share this intensity and who compete as individuals.
So the mix of nation and sport is a mongrel. Sadly enough the reinstating of the Olympic Games in 1896, although with the motto of ‘participating first, winning only second’, fused nation and sport for ever. One fights for one’s country…
A sickening example of this is the English sports commentator who almost seems to ejaculate when a British athlete is winning.
The BBC has gone so far to send special camera teams to sports events. You see a race, you think: ‘Yeez, an Englishman is running well’, only to find out that the person in seventh place is singled out by the British camera eye as if he is no.1 in the race.
Although this annoys me, I am a sinner. Watching the snooker match between Liang and Fu – this very minute of writing – I cannot help myself. This is Communist China versus Honkong. It is also the aristocratic Mandarin countenance of Fu versus the clever farmer’s face of Liang.
Let me drown again in the play itself, fuse with the flow of the balls and forget things which are irrelevant. Not, however, after first saving this piece and putting it on this blog.