London’s Big Sporty Thing (part 5)

Michael Phelps. Popular with swimming fans. But especially the ladies. Photo from ABC News/AP

A heart-breaking performance from Michael Phelps, badminton teams forgetting how to play, more about Paul McCartney and a welfare update on Olympic seats. Tuesday’s Sportay Thing Thang brought some tears and some more tears.

Michael Phelps broke hearts last night when it was revealed that he had broken the existing record for sleeping with the greatest number of  people from the Olympic Village. The previous record, 18, had been set by Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina between 1956 and 1964. Mr Phelps was expected to equal the record on Saturday but struck out in the Olympic pool, with a French swimmer securing the object of his desires. Fresh from a full day of rest on Monday, Michael Phelps struck twice in one evening, equalling and passing Ms Latynina’s record in under an hour.  While his first score yesterday evening earned him only a bronze medal, owing to the woman having no sense of humour and an annoying laugh, three Team USA teammates helped him to secure a gold-standard performance 50 minutes later. Within eight minutes, Phelps had conquered his 19th target and become the greatest Olympian of the modern era Games. Phelps credited his success with the opposite sex to a change in his attitude, saying: “The very first day, I was probably super uptight and trying to be super-serious. Just the last couple of days, I’ve been laughing all of the time and joking and having fun.”

Reaction to the record-breaking seduction performance by Michael Phelps was overwhelmingly positive, especially by American sports fans at the Games. Outside the Quadrennial Sports Sack Race Stadium, a man wearing a hat said: “I remember when I was in Athens, hearing about this guy and then there was Beijing. It’s an honour to be living in his lifetime to witness something like this.” A second random man interviewed by the BBC declared:  “It’s amazing, out of this world. I’m proud to be an American.” (yes, these are actual quotes) A congratulatory message from US President Barack Obama on behalf of the entire USA is expected later today. Following his success, Mr Phelps swam into history but is expected to return to the present by next Friday.

Four women’s badminton teams were booed by audiences, despite doing their best to play as mindblowingly awful as possible “to give other teams a chance”. The first match, between China’s Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, featured all four players aiming for the centre of the net throughout the 33-minute match. While the Korean pairing chose not to comment, Chinese player Yu screamed at the audience, tearing out her hair in what seemed like a fit of anger brought on by the large number of Twinkies she had consumed prior to the match. Referee Thorsten Berg came on to the court to draw Yu away with an unwrapped bar of chocolate. South Korea were declared the winners when they were awarded the maximum points for style and poise. By winning, the Korean team will now have to face another highly-ranked Chinese team in the quarter-finals, while Yu and Wang will be playing against a chicken and an unhatched egg. The second match, between the South Korean third seeds and Indonesia, was played in the same manner. Referee Berg waved the black card at both teams, signifying disqualification, but allowed the teams to play on when the Indonesian team protested that his actions “weren’t very nice”.

Empty seats have become less visible at Goldsilverbronzelimited venues following yesterday’s announcement by Seb Coe that they would be shot on sight. Reports from Twitter indicate that hundreds of seats are currently crowded into refugee camps near Dover.  Their condition is unknown. Updates to follow.

It has emerged that Paul McCartney earned a pound (about US$1.43 or 3000 Canadian dollars) for his performance at the Four Rings And Another Too opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium last Friday night. Asked about the level of payment, director Danny Boyle said: “Right, firstly he only sang two songs. And not my favourite songs either. We’d have been willing to pay more if he’d brought along the other three Beatles with him. But he came on his own and he’s not even the funny one.” Presenting the pound to Fab Macca, David Cameron quipped: “Don’t spend it all in the one shop”. Mr McCartney feigned polite laughter.

Fear is mounting that teen singing sensations One Direction may be performing at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. While band members have never shown any interest in sport, Fleet Admiral Sebastian Coe has announced that he is desperate to attract younger people and hopes to secure the teen pop group to aid him in his continuing quest. So far, there has been no confirmation that Duran Duran will close the games with a rousing version of their 80s hit ‘Rio’, though Paul McCartney has indicated that he will again be available to sing another chorus of ‘Hey Jude’. Danny Boyle, director of the opening ceremony, is expected to be there incognito, wearing his Wombles costume.

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