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Top 5 shittiest moments in Olympic reportage

It’s hard to go past the Huffington Post when you’re looking for serious news in this world of ever-falling journalistic standards. Thank goodness they came through for us with Olympic coverage in this piece, Olympic beach volleyball: bikinis still uniform choice despite London weather (PHOTOS).

Talk of cold weather had created panic in the British press that the female players would go for long-sleeves instead of the standard bikinis – a longtime but little used rule in international volleyball. But the Russians and Chinese were in the two-piece swimsuits for the opening match, and the Germans and Czechs did the same when they played an hour later.

But the beach party atmosphere was augmented by the dancers, who filled the downtime with kicklines and even one tango that ended up with the dance partners flopping suggestively in the sand.

Or how about one of the many, many pieces about athletes tearing up when they don’t win gold? Like this one from The Age, All over in 24 seconds, as bout ends in tears.

Seeing such a big man reduced to tears is confronting; one day Andrewartha will realise that merely stepping onto an Olympic judo mat was a victory but this was not that time.

Did you hear him? It’s just not that time.

This one is a sneaky inclusion given it is a comedy entry, but given how much it cracked us up we just had to put it on the list. If only more coverage had been like Fran Higgins’ commentary of the sailing.

Of course we wouldn’t be able to complete the list without mentioning the terrible NBC coverage of the opening (and closing) ceremony. First there was their choice to hold off airing it live, opting to show tape in prime time (even though they live tweeted it). Then there was the talking over the top of the music and theatre, having no idea who Tim Berners-Lee was (“Google him!” said Matt Lauer, redefining irony), cutting the tribute to bombing victims of 7/7 and presenting lame factoids faster than a children’s science show. The coverage has been universally panned. The hashtags #ShutUpMattLauer and #NBCFail were trending all night.

But our favourite by far has got to be this local gem: Jenna Price’s piece on The Drum, Olympians have a job to do and must perform, shares her view that “spending money on elite athletes is fine – if they win. But I am just not interested in watching endless teary confessionals about where it all went wrong. It went wrong. Either fix it and win, or get a real job”. What’s that? Every Australian Olympian didn’t win gold? Well, they didn’t hit their KPI. And we want them fired.

Do not be under the illusion that Stephanie Rice volunteered to go to the London Olympics because she wanted to do it for the nation. Or that Ian Thorpe wanted to carry the hopes of the country on his Jacquard jumper. All Olympians and wannabe Olympians do it because it’s part of their business plan.

And so are we. If that’s the case, I want my cut. And that cut is victory.

Now that is some gold Olympics coverage right there.

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