Now look, long-suffering reader – I know this is excessive but I just have to run it again.
Today I had to cycle into town about the time someone else was cycling for gold and when I got there, they were going on about all the other events. I dropped in: “Women’s volleyball, yo!”
Deadly silence. “When’s it on?” someone asked.
“Not really interested in volleyball,” said one girl.
“Nor am I but I am interested in those girls.”
“Yeah, we know what aspect you guys are interested in,” came a chorus of female voices. One girl added that her guy was glued to the box during the beach volleyball.
“This isn’t the beach volleyball, this is the real thing.” Then I explained how the girls had battled to even get there because the government stopped their money in 2010, that some of them had mortgaged their houses, that the sports bodies and government refused to give them proper facilities and they were having to go overseas to train and get match practice and so they came to the Olympics underdone but enthused.
Then they went and won a match a few night’s back.
“Oh?” Now there was some interest. I went on to say that this was what the Olympic spirit was all about – amateurs doing all they could to get there, off their own bat and though they were going down to the professional teams, they were fighting all the way. We really should support these girls.
When I got home, sadly, against World N4 Italy, they’d lost the first set 25-27 which must have given Italy a fright but now our lot were way down and Italy took the second set. In the third, it wasn’t all Italy’s way until they brought on this 500 game veteran, Piccinini and that was the ball game:
Our girls won some:
They lost more:
… but their enthusiasm and fight remained undaunted:
And weren’t those uniforms fabulous?