marcus westbury

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Me v. the Olympic Elites

June 3rd, 2008 by marcus

OLympic Logo

If you were are all convinced that this site would be reserved for serious discussion of arts, cultural policy, the state of the nation and the odd tale of a bizarre night at the logies. Think again!

For the 8 weeks leading up to the Olympics i will be doing a regular spot on 774 ABC radio drive in Melbourne and on the ABC web site where i will be taking on a different Olympic athlete each week at their sport of choice. The purpose of the exercise is to both demonstrate my exceptional manliness (by beating 14 year old girls at rhythmic gymnastics and the like) and to take a personal stand against the “elitists” who seem to think that “talent” and “training” and “skill” and “specialisation” gives these Olympian athletic types some sort of “special” status over and above we ordinary, beer drinking, armchair loving, apathetic Australians.

The official ABC blurb:

How hard is it to beat an Olympian?

The Beijing Olympics are coming up in August. Olympic fever will grip the nation and armchair athletes and couch potatoes the world over will marvel at the skill, athleticism and fitness of the world’s best athletes. But just how good are they? How would the average, unfit and relatively uncoordinated punter watching at home with a beer in his or hand go against Olympic grade athletes at elite sports.

Marcus Westbury, the writer and presenter of ABC TV’s Not Quite Art , has stupidly volunteered to find out. For 8 weeks leading up to the Olympics, Marcus will join forces with ABC 774 in Melbourne to try and Beat an Olympian. Each week he will tackle a different sport with a different elite athlete, and along the way perhaps gain a little insight into sacrifices, hard work, skill and dedication it takes to be an Olympian.

By his own admission, Marcus is “hopelessly unfit and a terrible sportsman.” His only recent sporting triumph of note is that he has won backyard cricket the last four Christmases in a row – including pwning a German backpacker with bat AND ball. On the downside, he puffs a lot after running for a tram and he once played social Squash twice a week for about 3 years without winning a single game.

In Beat an Olympian, the aim is to answer some vital questions: “How much of a head start do i need to beat a 100m runner on the track? How many laps of the pool can an elite swimmer do in the time it takes me to do one? Could i even survive sports like shooting, boxing, or archery without killing anyone or being killed? Could i even beat a Paralympian? Would i even fit in that outfit and if i did would i ever be able to get out of it again?” Also, the public will also get to find out just what level Marcus will stoop to win, “I’m not ruling out cheating, handicapping, skulduggery and steroids.”

If you aren’t in Melbourne, you should be able to tune into the adventures via the ABC web site. It will even include humiliating photos and videos. If you are in Melbourne you’ll be able to listen to them on 774 Drive starting next week.

In the meantime tomorrow i am off to whoop some gymnast arse (actually that will almost certainly get me into more trouble than Bill Henson given their ages) and then on Thursday I’m off to master the pole vault in an afternoon.

But i do need your help! I am trying to brainstorm some short phrases that i can put on some t-shirts I’ll be making up for the occasion. All suggestions welcome!

Oh, and if anyone knows where to get REALLY fast acting steroids let me know!

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 star Jun 3, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    tshirt slogan: ART HATES SPORT

  • 2 marcus Jun 3, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Perhaps it would make a good shirt – although i am not the slightest bit convinced that it’s true!

  • 3 Gilli Kilgour Jun 3, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    More Drugs In Sport.

    It’s gotta be done.

  • 4 Gilli Kilgour Jun 3, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Or how about,
    Not Quite Fit.

  • 5 marcus Jun 3, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Not Quite Fit works for me.

    I now have a beautiful metallic gold “armchair athlete” only a lovely green shirt. But i think i might knock up a few more before this is over.