Thursday, 20 August 2009

A child's guide to the World Athletics Championships

We are a sporty family. As former rowers (amongst other activities such as sailing, running, skiing, windsurfing, cycling to name some) it was inevitable that the kids would grow up with an emphasis on getting out and about, whatever the weather, and either taking part in or learning something that involved physical activity.

As a consequence they have been avid watchers of the World Athletic Championships in Berlin this past week. What has caught us (slightly) off guard have been some of the questions raised. Here is a sample:

Mr Man - Why is he so fat? (referring to the male shot put contestants)

Blossom - Does his red hair make him jump better? (Phillips Idowu in the triple jump)

Widget - Why are they jumping in the puddle? (men's steeplechase)

Mr Man - How does the stick bend and not break? (pole vault)

Widget - What team are they playing for? (women's 100m final)

Blossom - Is she a man? (women's shot put - mind you, I asked much the same question)

And the most relevant:

Mr Man - Why does Bolt always win?

Despite trying to answer these questions as best as we could (Other Half tried discussing mass and power with Mr Man to explain how the shot put worked but lost his attention as soon as another race got underway), I take heart that they all asked whether they "could do that" when they are bigger.

The interesting issue will be which country they decide to represent: Great Britain, Italy or Australia.

My money is on whichever one has a national uniform in their favourite colour.

Children. So fickle.

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