July 20, 2004


Who are the drinkiest Olympians?

That award - based on an informal athlete poll - is split between the Canadians and the Australians. "The Aussies truly know how to party," says Dick Roth, an American who set a world swimming record in Tokyo in 1964. "The main reason I hung out with them is that their coach didn’t mind them drinking beer. It was fun - lots of drinking. They were more relaxed than everybody else."

Rennae Stubbs, an Australian Olympic tennis player who competed in Atlanta and Sydney, does not dispute the characterisation. "We’re a free-loving, fun-loving group of people," she says. "We’re not as worried as some countries about repercussions."

Edith Thys, an American skier at Calgary and Albertville, agrees that the partying gold should probably go to the Canadians, but she awards the licentiousness medal to the French. "They are by far the most promiscuous," says Thys, "but only with each other. I’m not sure if that’s because they wouldn’t sleep with anybody else, or because nobody else would sleep with them."

Speaking of which, check the opening par. And people say Americans don’t believe in international coalitions ...

UPDATE. Even if our frozen Northern cousins fluke a drinking gold in Athens, they'll still miss out on Fox News:

The CRTC does not think it wise to allow such stuff on Canadian television.

It might threaten "the Canadian way," disturb our "distinct Canadian viewpoint," imperil the whole Canadian psyche, causing voters in metro Toronto to do strange things -- like vote Tory.

So we are being sheltered from subversive conservatism.

However, not everything is kept pending by the CRTC.

Last week, we discovered that the application of the violently anti-Israel Al Jazeera news channel got swift approval, and was hardly kept pending at all.

David Marr would approve.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 20, 2004 12:59 AM

Where are all the stories about the sexy East German women athletes from the 60's and 70's?

Posted by: Rob at July 20, 2004 at 01:26 AM

Best lines:

"The seven-foot-tall giant who ducks under the doorway entering the cafeteria is probably from basketball. The seven-foot giant who smacks his head on the door frame is definitely a rower; they don’t have that hand-eye co-ordination thing.

The kids running at the rowers’ ankles with the high-pitched voices are gymnasts. "

Posted by: Carl in N.H. at July 20, 2004 at 01:36 AM

Rob, ask and ye shall receive:

"There was, of course, a dark period for Olympic bodies, says gold-medal-winning swimmer Dick Roth: the Cold War, when Eastern European athletes - in particular, women - were fed bizarre chemical concoctions that resulted in bloated medal counts and grotesquely inflated bodies. "The worst body I ever saw at the Olympic village [in Tokyo] was a Russian basketballer," says Roth. "She was seven foot tall and just looked terrible. Huge. Out of proportion. Masculine. And I also remember this gorgeous, blonde, blue-eyed German swimmer walking towards me - I even took a picture of her. I turned around after she’d passed by, and saw she had a massive back. It was as if I were looking at a guy from the back. ‘What are they doing to those people?’ I thought."

Posted by: Carl in N.H. at July 20, 2004 at 01:39 AM

Carl, thanks. I guess the Tokyo Olympics don't register because I wasn't born yet. But I do remember as a young child looking at athletes like Kornelia Ender and asking my Pops, "how come Mean Joe Greene isn't all muscular like that?"

Posted by: Rob at July 20, 2004 at 02:56 AM

Mr Byfield's conclusion is pretty obvious:

So all becomes clear: Who appoints the CRTC? The Liberal government. Purpose of the CRTC: To preserve the Liberal government. End of story.

Which is why we have the Civil Service system in the US. For all its flaws, it does a good job of preventing any President from completely purging and installing an entire staff of yes-men. Hell, the State Department still has Nixon appointees!

Posted by: Spiny Norman at July 20, 2004 at 03:47 AM

Aussies need to keep drinking heavily in foreign lands, otherwise the terrorists have won!

Posted by: Daniel at July 20, 2004 at 04:36 AM

"...causing voters in metro Toronto to do strange things -- like vote Tory."

Ted is obviously misguided here - doesn't he know that Fox News is "fair and balanced"?

Posted by: tim g at July 20, 2004 at 10:17 AM

Yawn, tim g. It's obviously much more fair and balanced if they don't get Fox News and all vote Liberal. Right?

And in case you still don't get it because of the boring knee-jerk lefty bias that permeates almost all your posts here: He didn't write "causing ALL voters to vote Tory." Nobody's gonna force them to watch Fox News. See the difference? No, you probably don't.

Posted by: PW at July 20, 2004 at 10:39 AM

I remeber watching the Seoul Olympics with my college housemates and ogling the diving cuties- particularly one Russian hottie named Angela. We also cheered the Americans and a Chinese girl who wither did spectacualrly or resurfaced loking devastated.

Posted by: James A. Wolf at July 20, 2004 at 02:35 PM

PW - I'm grossly offended. My boring knee-jerk lefty bias does not permeate almost all my posts. It permeates all of them without exception.

Sadly, a sense of humour never permeates yours.

Posted by: tim g at July 20, 2004 at 02:36 PM

PW, if tim g thinks you lack a sense of humor I'd take that as a ringing endorsement.

Posted by: Sortelli at July 20, 2004 at 02:53 PM

I certainly do, Sortelli. :)

tim g, my sense of humour about your post may be slightly impaired because sarcastic jokes about Fox News's tag line are about two years past their sell-by date. That you still find it funny is pretty telling though. Has the Subcommittee for the Dispensation of Talking Points neglected to address this dearth of fresh lefty jokes?

Posted by: PW at July 20, 2004 at 03:15 PM

Good grief--have the fortunes of the Russians fallen so far that they can't even afford to be the best drinkers any more? Someone needs to start a collection so that they can get good and blasted on vodka during the Games.

Carl, my trusty copy of "The Complete Book of The Summer Olympics" says that women's basketball wasn't played until 1976 (Montreal)--Mr. Roth must have seen an athlete from a different sport in Tokyo (1964), or he was thinking of Montreal, where there was a rather grotesque Soviet female basketball player by the name of Ujana Semjonava--she was 6' 10 1/2" tall and weighed 284 lbs. The book says she suffered from gigantism due to excessive pituitary gland function, which is probably true--steroids don't make women grow to be two meters plus in height. Not yet, anyway.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at July 20, 2004 at 03:39 PM

Oh, the French may be promiscuous, but surveys suggest they're doing it by rote:
"In one study ... 23 percent of French men and 31 percent of French women reported they were bored when making love."

Posted by: liz at July 20, 2004 at 05:05 PM


I never said it was a funny joke. Jeez, everyone's a critic these days.

Since when has telling old, unfunny jokes disqualified one from commenting at Spleenville? I had always thought it was a prerequisite.

PS I didn't make it to the last subcommittee meeting. My vegan lesbian sister had to borrow my electric car to go to a gay wedding and PLO fundraiser at the local green anti-war socialist collective.

Posted by: tim g at July 20, 2004 at 06:19 PM

I am sorry to post twice but I think this is important.

I have just googled the Rev Mr. Vince Zankin.

It appears - though I feel I have to have got it wrong! - that along with an avalanche of his extremist left-wing letters to various papers, attacking the Queen, Ronald Reagan, Archbishops Pell and Hollingworth, John Howard, the Governor-General, the liberation of "Christian" East Timor and it seems practically every figure to the right of Stalin, far surpassing what was in my modest files, he in a FUCKING DEFENCE FORCE CHAPLAIN, attached to Canberra RAAF BASE! This if correct means he is a COMMISSIONED DEFENCE FORCE OFFICER WHO HAS SWORN AN OATH OF ALLREGIANCE TO THE GOVERNMENT, who is PAID by the Australian Department of Defence and who is DISBARRED FROM MAKING POLITICAL COMMENTS!


Posted by: Sue at July 21, 2004 at 04:38 AM

Tim G, I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that there are lots of people in your life who appear to you to have no senses of humor.

Maybe it's you. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Sortelli at July 21, 2004 at 11:27 AM