The reason why we aren’t doing well in the Olympics is we are a reasonably civilised people, and it’s become clear to some of us that many sports involve the inflicting of protracted pain on children for years on end and this is child abuse.
Competitive swimming is child abuse; javelin-throwing; weight-lifting; high-jumping; shot-putting; hop, step and jumping; competitive diving. Any sport that does not involve a ball or a tactical contest with other people is, in its early stages, child abuse and like smoking for children should be outlawed. It stunts their spiritual growth. Two hours a day that might be spent reading or yarning or acting in Gilbert and Sullivan is spent staring at the bottom of the pool. That, over ten years, adds up to a year of childhood lost and ends in tragedy, usually, a third place or no place at all in the Olympics and one’s life purpose over at 27.
All these races against the clock should be outlawed, like bullfighting, and all these heavings against gravity. They are not what a civililised people do.
And we are doing it, thank heaven, less and less.