Well it’s been an eventful opening to the Olympics, especially with what has gone on with the swimmers just in the past 24 hours.
We join Bruce McAvaney and Duncan Armstrong at the aquatic center for the final of the mens 100.
Bruce McAvaney: Welcome back to the Beijing Olympic aquatic center. And it’s now finally time for the race that has been all over the news these past few days, the mens 100 metre freestyle final.
Duncan Armstrong: Yeh that’s right Bruce. As we all know by now, a most unfortunate event occurred yesterday, in which almost all of the swimmers from nearly all of the competing nations contracted selmonella from a bad batch of Gatorade. Mandarin flavour I believe.
Bruce: Yes, but one Cinderella story has emerged from the whole tragic event, and that is the remarkable call-up of Andrew Gack, the largely-unknown, fifteen-year-old swimming prodigy from Mildura, to the big race.
Duncan: It is a wonderful story Bruce. Yes, the Olympic committee ruled that due to the events of yesterday, each country with a sick competitor was able to replace them with a healthy member of their squad, and since Gack was the only member of the Aussie team not doubled-over puking into a toilet, he has been put on the starting block to represent his country.
Bruce: It must be a special moment for the young fella.
Duncan: My word, Bruce. Although there has been some talk of Andrew not being in the best physical shape for this event. In fact the selectors were deliberating whether or not to field an Aussie competitor at all.
Bruce: Well he does tip the scales at a hefty 104kg Duncan, but his mother re-assured the Olympic team that he was a “nice young man”, and that the Australian selectors simply did not see his “lovely personality”. And, well, it seems the selectors took a chance with the pugnacious schoolboy.
Duncan: That, coupled with the fact that he suffers debilitating asthma attacks and water sometimes gets up his nose if he goes too deep, were big concerns to the Aussie contingent.
Bruce: Well here come the swimmers now, heading towards their starting blocks. And here we see young Andrew Gack, the nuggety youngster waddling to his position.
Duncan: He certainly is a sight to see, Bruce. Noticibly, Andrew has chosen not to wear the Speedo Fastskin Pro Lazr swimsuit for this event.
Bruce: Yes, Andrew is somewhat of an old-school competitor, in that he feels more comfortable wearing his everyday swimwear while racing. Though I daresay he may be the first Olympic competitor to ever swim in a pair of black boardshorts and a beige “Hot Tuna” T-Shirt. He’s also playing it sun-smart, wearing a cap with a flap on the back of it, with what appears to be his school logo on the front. Good to see from the chubby Victorian.
Duncan: And you can see there Andrew has definately been training outdoors for this event, as he seems to have more freckles scattered over his pale, near-translucent skin than usual, although his mother tells us that one day they’ll all join up and he’ll have an awesome tan that all the cool kids will be jealous of.
Bruce: The swimmers head towards their blocks now. Andrew seems to be having some trouble getting onto his starting block, but a couple of Chinese volunteers get under the chunky youngster, and heave him upwards with their backs. It looks like a tremendous strain, but they finally get him up there.
Duncan: Yes, it’s definately a good effort there from the volunteers. Those ladies should be commended.
Bruce: The swimmers brace themselves for the race.
Duncan: And they’re off! USA and South African competitors get off to a good start.
Bruce: We see there that Gack didn’t quite get the start he would have been after.
Duncan: No he’s quite a way behind already. He went with the somewhat unorthodox entry technique of the uncontrolled pin-drop.
Bruce: Yes, he jumped in feet first, holding his nose with his fingers, with only the slightest bit of forward momentum. Not nearly enough to make a real transition into his stroke.
Duncan: Speaking of his stroke, we’re used to seeing swimming competitors going with the “crawl” technique in freestyle events, but it seems Andrew is using a more obscure style here. What do you think of this choice, Bruce?
Bruce: I’m not sure if it’s going to pay off for the morbidly-obese wunderkind at all, Duncan. This doggy-paddle/breaststroke hybrid seems a very slow way of getting an edge on his fellow swimmers.
Duncan: That baggy T-Shirt is creating quite a bit of drag, too. There appears to be some air stuck underneath it, and it’s floating upwards into his face. This is a very strange medal attempt here from Gack.
Bruce: Yes, it seems that he doesn’t quite want to get his face wet. He’s struggling to keep his mouth above the surface in a vain attempt to not have to hold his breath for any part of the race. But surely he’s going to have to submerse his face at some point.
Duncan: He probably doesn’t want the blue zinc-cream on his cheeks to wash off either, Bruce.
Well, the other competitors have swum back past Andrew, who has only swum roughly three metres, and is now grabbing onto the lane rope, out of breath. Considering He hasn’t yet gone underwater, that’s a tremendous amount of moisture on his face, Bruce.
Bruce: China first, USA second, and The Netherlands come in third. China’s swimmer just missing out on an Olympic record, there.
Duncan: Great swim there from the Chinese competitor, a somewhat polar-opposite result to Australia’s Andrew Gack. Who garners himself a disappointing DNF, as a team of volunteers attempt to pull him out of the pool using a series of large sticks and nets.
Bruce: One can’t help but wonder if the results might have be any different had the gelatinous meat-bag been in a Speedo Fastskin Pro Lazr.
Duncan: Questions will be asked, Bruce.
Kids the world over immitate the “Gack-look”.