Friday 15 August 2008

Day 7.1: Pretty pictures

It's Day 7 of the Olympics, which means we're all just in a holding pattern waiting for the athletics to start and Hazel Irvine has taken a restraining order out on me. After an exciting Day 6, I found little to inspire me in the programme for Day 7. This was, in part, due to the weather which manage to disrupt almost all outside events. Some sports did manage to find a break in the clouds, however, and I'm sure Roger Federer and the Williams sisters are all very glad of it, as all three were knocked out of the tennis as soon as the rain subsided.

It's days like day 7 which lead you to start looking at parts of the screen you wouldn't normally contemplate. Often in the direction of the Off button. However, if you time it right, before you get there you will see some of the Olympic graphics. These are very useful, as they tell you the names of the competitors, the score, the sport and, if applicable, the class. In the left hand side of this Blue Bar of Fact, you will also notice a little yellow picture. Every sport has one of these, a simple stylised stick figure representation of the sport in question.

Now, I don't know how long they've been doing this in international sports broadcasting. However, I've seen footage of the TV feeds of Olympic Games stretching right back to the 1960s this summer, and I can tell you they didn't always use them. Fox's, however, have been making the comestible version - the Sports Biscuit - for fifty years. As such, I can only assume that someone at the IOC has finally taken the heads up from this venerable biscuit. I have to say, the graphics are a welcome addition to the coverage, not least because of the old game you can also play with the sports biscuit - the "what the hell sport is that?" game. Of course, playing it with the TV graphics tends to spoil the game, what with the sport being written down next to it. My request to the TV directors: let's just have the pictures. No other details. It would be the best Olympics ever.

* The events depicted in the image at the top are as follows: (Top row (left to right)) Synchronised Fishing; Pairs Drowning; Swimming in snakes; Dressing to the left; Water Boxing; Sado-Masochism; Roadworks; (Second row) Weightlifting; Fly swatting; Eel poaching; Sex; Arm-wrestling; Boxing; Scaring the elderly; (Third row) Football; Close encounters; Bee chastisement; Freestyle farts; Abbatoir; 1500m Escaping Radiation Leak; Catholic Dressage; (Fourth row) Fencing; Slapstick; Volleyball; Saving Picnic from Ants; Wasp Revenge; Baking; Gay Sex; (Fifth row) Tennis; Epilepsy; Hoovering; Showing Off to Girls; Running; Fight with Gladiators to the Death; Helping Fat Relatives Out of Bed.

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