With the news that the Olympic openning ceremony is to conjure up images of a greener Britain using farm yard animals like horses, cows and ducks – yes ducks – it’s time to reflect on whether these people are just making it up as they go along.
According to the BBC in order to conjure up quintessential Britishness ”The set will feature meadows, fields and rivers, with families taking picnics, people playing sports on the village green and farmers tilling the soil.” The head count will include 70 sheep, 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese and three sheepdogs.
Nothing says Britain more than a flurry of bloodied feathers and wool as goats scale the improbable heights of the stadium. At least that’s how I imagine it, the reality may well come closer to a teenager leading a mangy goat round the stadium on a bit of string.
Leaving aside my visions of a glorious mayhem I’m beginning to understand now how the government can claim that the Games are coming in under budget. They spent most of the money on corporate hospitality and the change left over they’ve lashed out on the Musicians of Bremmen for the opening celebrations.
Animals and sport
This did get me thinking though. If cows are going to represent us at the Olympics are they particularly well known for their sporting abilities? Other than moon jumping obviously. Well it turns out they are, as this story where a cow managed to score a goal at a professional football match shows. In fairness it was a pitch invader but it may well have been welcomed in this otherwise nil-nil draw.
Pigs are well known for their footballing skills as these videos (one, two, three) show admirably, although I doubt Chelsea will be on the phone any time soon. I guess pigs are going to stick to predicting the football rather than taking part, especially as big cats are getting into the game and a pig versus lion game may be a little less Roman Abramovich and a bit more Roman arena.
Chimpanzees are pretty good at the shot put, crows have a way with ping pong and dogs play underwater frisbee (that is an Olympic sport right?) so why is there no animal Olympics? Or maybe this cows and ducks business is just easing us in slowly to the concept – I’m not sure there’s any other explanation for it.
Looking forward to the grand vision becoming a reality, obviously.