Inertia and me: I have absolutely no interest in the Olympics, even though this makes me a bad Londoner, a bad feminist and generally a bad person.

This isn’t going to be another article about how the Olympics are rubbish because they’re going to bugger up the tube. Oh alright, maybe a little bit.
Publish date:
July 23, 2012
issues, london, 2012, the olympics, inertia

Inertia:n·er·tia [in-ur-shuh, ih-nur-]nounInertness, especially with regard to effort, motion, action, and the like; inactivity; sluggishness.

This is how I feel every time anyone mentions the Olympics. Then my eyes glaze over and then…..zzzz.

I should kick off by pointing out that I don’t actually think I’m a bad person, because if anything, I’ve got a superiority complex (but, that’s a whole other post, dear reader).

However, Phoebe - who has more civic pride in her little finger than I possess in my entire body - is less than impressed with my lack of interest in the games. Not least because the Olympics are one of the few sporting events where women are represented on what’s almost an even footing to men.

Team xo: Phoebe just asked me to pull a winner face and this is what I came up with. I'm. Just. Not. Competitive.

Can you name a member of the England Women's football team? I can’t, and even with my total lack of interest in football I can name a couple of the male team.

But the Olympics is the one place where the playing field, to stretch a metaphor, is a little more even.

If you asked me to name members of Team GB, the first three that spring to my mind are Victoria Pendleton, Jessica Ennis and Rebecca Adlington. These women are not just athletes, they’re becoming celebrities in their own rights.

And yes, everyone’s a celebrity these days, but female athletes have long been treated with more parity than other sportswomen – remember Sally Gunnel, Fatima Whitbread and Kelly Holmes?

So, the Olympics games are definitely, in that respect, A Good Thing. But guess what? I still don’t care about them.

I’m not a particularly competitive person, and I really don't care if we win more gold medal than anyone else (on the up side, you’ll see very little gnashing of teeth from me if we DON’T WIN ANY).

And, although I don’t want to bang on about how inconvenient and annoying the games will be to me personally, trying to negotiate my way across town with 300,000 extra people using the already heaving Underground system, will, in fact, be REALLY INCONVENIENT AND ANNOYING.

As much as I love London (and I really do, it’s one of the few things I’ll allow my cynical self to feel any sense of pride in), I can’t shake the feeling that, as a city, we’re just not up to hosting what will essentially amount to 26 world championships in 16 days.

And every time something goes wrong, or we miss out on a medal that we were favourites to win, or a French shot putter tweets something disparaging about the state of our chemical toilets, everyone will jump on it, and fixate on what a shambles the whole thing is.

So, I’d rather just not get involved in the first place. Yes, I am that much of a misery. A bit like a non-racist Alf Garnett, if you will.

Maybe I’d feel differently if I had tickets to some of the events, but I don’t really see how I’m going to get swept along with the spirit of the nation by watching some long jumping on the TV in my living room when it’s sunny out and I could be reading a book in the park (if I sound a bit grumpy, it’s because it’s Sunday, it’s sunny out and I’m writing this in my living room when I could be reading a book in the park).

Does this look like the face of one of life's winners?

I generally feel ambivalent towards great national events anyway – I spent the Jubilee in a tent trying to pretend it wasn’t happening (despite being a bit of a Queen Liz fan), and Euro 2012 passed me by entirely – I wasn’t entirely sure it was happening until about half way through the first match [to the point where Phoebe's just had to point out to me that it wasn't actually the World Cup, as I originally wrote. --Rebecca].

I hate tourists, I hate queuing for things, I hate sitting on a blanket in Hyde Park while it’s unseasonably cold, drinking a £10 plastic cup of Pimms, with sticky hands because someone’s just crashed in to me and spilt said Pimms all over me just so I can watch things on a big screen with 5,000 other disaffected Londoners.

In the dead of night, I do sometimes worry that the great moments of this century are passing me by through a combination of laziness and inertia, and that I’m the cultural equivalent of Onslo in Keeping up Appearances.

Onslo: the only human being more inert than I am.

It does sometimes niggle me that I’m not going to have any tales to tell the grandkids when they ask ‘granny what did you do during the London Olympics?’ while they sit on my lap and suck on a Werther’s Original, before they whizz off on their hoverboards, Back To The Future stylee.

But that feeling only lasts a moment, then I just roll over and go back to sleep – it’s amazing what inertia will do to a girl.

Am I right or am I right? Or am I just massively self-absorbed on an epic scale? Are you TOTALLY PSYCHED about the Olympics, or could you not possibly care less? And finally, who’s your favourite female Olympian?