Here’s a letter I wrote to The Independent years and years ago. I was highly amused by the idea although I wasn’t expecting it to be published in the sports pages. The sports editor rang me and we spent a little while giggling at the prospect of watching members of the public taking part in the Olympics. It still tickles me from time to time.
Anyway, here’s the letter:
“From Mr F Pearson
Sir: I must admit that I am not a keen sports fan at the best of times, but the Olympics has stirred sensations of great boredom in me. Hundreds of finely tuned, occasionally drug-enhanced competitors participating in events that are decided in fractions of a second have taken away any possible thrill.
As a remedy, I suggest that in future Olympic Games the competitors be selected by a random process from the general public, eight weeks before the Games commence (to give them a chance to train). I believe even mundane events – such as the pole vault, gymnastics and synchronised swimming – would be given a new lease of life.
The letter, which was originally published in the newspaper, of course, on Wednesday 24th July 1996, can still be seen here.