Tokyo 2020

Guy Verhofstadt claims Olympic gold for the EU

Who is on top of the gold medal table at the Tokyo Olympics? China? The United States?  According to former European parliament Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt, it is, in fact, the European Union that is triumphing at the games. While you have to go down to seventh place in the Olympics leader board to find an EU country (Germany), Verhofstadt appears to have his own scoreboard:  ‘Fun fact,’ he wrote on Twitter: ‘EU combined has more gold medals than US or China’. Verhofstadt went on to say that he would ‘love to see the EU flag next to the national on athletes’ clothes’.  Mr S wonders whether this is all just a ploy to ensure that Verhofstadt’s Belgium

Is it fair for Laurel Hubbard to compete against women?

Today, the conversation about transgender rights and the interests of women turns to sport. At the Olympic Games, Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand, will compete in the +87kg women’s weightlifting. Hubbard, as you surely know, was born male and grew up to become a competitive weightlifter. At the age of 33, the athlete then transitioned and became a trans woman. And because the International Olympic Committee effectively signs up to the mantra of trans rights – ‘Trans women are women’ – Hubbard can duly compete in the women’s contest in Tokyo. To a lot of people, the prospect of a male-born weightlifter competing with biological women calls to mind a

Bronze is the best medal

In the 50-kilometre walk at the 1948 Olympics, the gold and silver medallists were aged 28 and 33 respectively. The man who took bronze, Britain’s ‘Tebbs’ Lloyd-Johnson, was 48 years old. Still the oldest person ever to win an Olympic track and field medal, Tebbs is now more famous than the men who finished ahead of him. Another British bronze at those 1948 London Olympics was also worth more than most gold medals. Just three years previously when released from forced labour in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, weightlifter Jim Halliday had weighed a skeletal six stone (38 kg). Restoring his strength by eating eggs (including the shells which,

Tokyo’s doomed Olympics could be the worst yet

The Tokyo 2020/2021 Olympics, which begins on Friday, looks set to be one of the worst in the event’s history. A book detailing all the scandals and mishaps of the games would be longer then the Tales of Genji.  Won way back in 2013, it wasn’t long before allegations of suspicious payments materialised. Since then there have been: massive cost overruns, cock-ups with venues (the Olympic stadium was built without a crucible!), multiple gaffes and resignations from the principals, the relocation of the marathon, plus, of course, the one-year postponement and endless uncertainty wrought by the pandemic. The games will open under a dark cloud of public discontent. Polls have consistently shown a