Playing Games

Sport Review #161

I don’t know what to think about these Olympics.

Going in, I thought if anyone could do this during a pandemic, it would be Japan. But even the masters of organisation couldn't escape the virus and like a teenager wishing the First XV would just stop spewing on the couch and leave, they’re left with a party they don’t really want to hold.

I feel for the people travelling - visions of electronics shopping and Anthony Bourdain-style missions through tiny Whiskey bars where they serve steak on sticks is over.

Still - once it gets underway, we’ll be swept up in it all.

The irony of the Olympiad is the contrast between the world’s best athletes competing at the highest level, and most of us sacking out on the couch for two weeks, emerging from a full adult size pyramid of pistachio nut shells vaguely thinking you should really go for a run.

My plan is immersing myself in rarely seen events like archery and handball, catch the pinnacle events like the the 1500m and 100m and tune in for the big New Zealand medal hopes. There should be a few surprises with so many withdrawals, no crowds and no shortage of extra motivation of the delayed start and all that hand san.

The Olympics capture the imagination like nothing else, and now its going ahead, I ideally it’ll be memorable for the sport from this point on. I hope the New Zealanders do well and everyone stays safe.

Olympic recommendations

Keith Miller is taking leave for the whole Olympics. And warmed up with an exhaustive preview much better than this newsletter’s one (ahem)

The NZ Team app looks the bizzo for a timetable of NZers competing

Blind Landing is an investigative podcast about the biggest mistake in Olympics history - recommended

You really need to watch this one again:

Thanks for reading - Richard

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This week's best NZ sport content

Olympics veteran David Leggat’s favourite games memories as a fan and reporter [Locker Room]

“I felt overweight and unhappy with my body. Every waking moment was filled with anxiety and sadness. I was overwhelmed. But I still thought I could do it.”

Venetia Sherson on the pressures women athletes face to stay thin, and the damage it’s doing [Spinoff]

Three things you didn’t know about the Springbok Tour, which turned 40 this week - including Hone Harawira’s story of being defended by Desmond Tutu during the 1981 Springbok Tour is a must watch [Spinoff, Te Ao with Moana]

“When you’re in sport, you know how to read sport,” she tells. “You know the flow of a game, you know how to read emotions. You can’t predict everything, but you can predict enough to know what will make a good shot.”

Heather Dawson speaks with Olympic photographer Alisha Lovrich [Locker Room]

Sport radio station SENZ launched this week - Alex Braae tuned into the first few hours and reminds you radio is hard and it’s early days [The Spinoff]

Video nasty

Nothing to see here, in this local shop.

Long read

Connoisseurs of bi-coastel elite jazz rock legends Steely Dan have a choice - resent all the young kids hopping on their hipster bandwagon, or welcome them aboard the twisted ride [The Ringer]


Season two of I Think You Should Leave Now is on Netflix, is deeply disturbing and made me lose my shit completely.

Bring back the gif 

When someone suggests working though lunch.

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