First we take the really big mattress, then the world!
In an Olympics which thus far have been disappointingly free of controversy, skulduggery and scandal, Australian pole vaulter Steve Hooker has led a pole vault revolt against the dastardly forces of pole vault officialdom.
A dramatic situation unfolded in the London Olympic Stadium last night, as heavy-handed thugs disguised as meek, middle-aged athletics officials with Midlands accents insisted the vaulters compete in the event which they’d flown to London to compete in.
Steve Hooker and his fellow vaulters were having none of that bullying.
It remains unclear precisely what the gold medallist from 2008 and his cohorts were protesting against during the pole vault qualifying session, however it is thought that nothing less than a major existential crisis may have unfolded.
As a well-placed pole vault source told The Punch overnight: “Think about it. These guys launch themselves six metres in the air with nothing but a bendy pole. It’s a long way down, and there are no shortage of pointy things to land on.
“I think what we saw last night was the en masse realisation that this is a heck of a way to earn a living. And, you know, I think the guys decided enough was enough.
“They’ve all got the final on Friday and then I think you can expect the guys to go back to the real world and take up a job someplace where they can do as little as possible. A job where the only thing they’ll hurt is their pride.
“My guess is most of them will end up playing football for Port Adelaide.”
A leading sports psychologist attributed last night’s pole vault revolt not to rebellion, but to the type of bizarre, unpredictable groupthink which is common at the Olympics.
“Other examples include fans who still shout ‘Oi! Oi! Oi!’ eight years after the chant went out of fashion, and the ubiquitous presence of a book about sadistic sex on every athlete’s bedside table,” the shrink said.
There was also the strong suggestion last night that pole vault is in fact a cult, led by the charismatic Hooker, whose flaming red locks are said to symbolise the dawn of the apocalypse.
Experts pointed to the giant mattress beneath the pole vault bar as evidence of the orgiastic behaviour invariably associated with cults.
When quizzed as to his thoughts on the controversy, Games chief Lord Coe said the pole vaulters would “inspire a generation”.
He also said “inspire a generation”, “inspire a generation” and “inspire a generation”.
Australia’s official Games broadcaster, the Nine network, assiduously avoided the unfolding drama of the pole vault revolt last night, keen to keep in tact its faultless London 2012 record of not screening stuff people actually want to watch.
In cutting to the equestrian, Nine evening host Karl Stefanovic said the network would now cross to an event in which competitors actually want to compete.
That statement mystified many, given Nine’s undying commitment to the Australian swim team in the first week of the Games.
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