Andrew Gilligan

A gold medal for idiocy

The Olympics are a gigantic folly – and you still have time to be part of it

The Olympics are a gigantic folly – and you still have time to be part of it

Would you like to compete for Britain at the 2012 Olympics? No, seriously, compete in the real Olympics, march in the athletes’ parade, wear our national colours? Vacancies are still available. Complete beginners most welcome — no experience necessary. You don’t even have to be, well, British. I promise I am not making this up.

Among the many inventive ways which London 2012 has devised to waste public money, Team GB Handball is my personal favourite. Three million pounds is being spent to create, from scratch, a British Olympic squad in a sport which virtually nobody in Britain has ever played. And in the Olympic Park, £44 million — enough for a new hospital wing — has gone on a 7,000-seat arena for handball, a sport whose entire British fan base could have been fitted into the nearest convenient school gym.

If no one plays handball, where do we get the players? Well that, readers, is where you come in. As the British Handball Association website this week puts it, ‘Do you have an Olympic dream? London 2012, Rio 2016, and beyond? We need you to help us to reach higher heights as we pursue our own Olympic Dream for London in 2012… Think you have what it takes? Then simply complete the form below and our coaching staff will be in touch.’ The form includes the question: ‘Played handball before? Yes/No.’ If you missed out on Olympic tickets, it is, I suppose, one way of getting in without posing as Sepp Blatter’s personal food taster.

Alas, as so often in our great country, a lack of skilled British workers means the jobs have gone to EU migrants.

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