And then there’s rugby sevens, which I understand will be open only to privately-educated competitors from countries which were once lucky enough to be part of our empire. A game wholly devoid of even the most primitive vestiges of skill which we inflicted upon the South Africans, Aussies, Kiwis and so on and which those country’s homoerotic middle class have subsequently taken up with considerable enthusiasm. Nobody else has taken any notice of rugby, because it is not a very compelling game. And so we at least stand the chance of a bronze in the rugby sevens, surely, assuming we can buy enough fake blood capsules to cheat our way through the qualifying rounds, against the wannabe-Brits of Argentina and Italy.
I have to say it did strike me during the euphoria over our performance in the Beijing Olympics that our success was at least partly dependent upon being able to afford better equipment than anyone in the third world (by which I include France). Nice laser class yachts, lightweight state of the art bicycles, cool guns and crossbows. That’s the way the Olympics is going – with any luck, by 2020 – if they also include polo and Real Tennis - we’ll be in the top three nations.