Thank God for bronze medals!

I enjoyed the World Athletics Championships, even if Britain's performance was a bit patchy.  Mo Farah's gold was great, and Dai Greene's too, whilst Jessica Ennis and Phillips Idowu were simply beaten into second place by better opponents, but there were a fair few disappointments too.

Not having a single athlete, male or female, in the finals of the 100, 200, 400 or 800 metres, and not getting a medal in any of the relays was pretty poor, and doesn't reflect especially well on Charles van Commenee's methods.  The main positive I can think of is that at least it might lower expectations in the build up to next year's Olympics.

At least none of the British medallists I saw followed the example of American triple jumper Will Claye, though.  He was understandably delighted after notching a personal best leap of 17.50 metres and claiming third place in the final, but when he knew he'd grabbed the bronze and knew television was watching him, he sprinted off to the edge of the track, where his kit bag lay.

As he rummaged around for a moment, I suddenly realized what he was going to do, and, yes, a second later Claye pulled out his copy of the Bible.  Spinning round, he brandished it manically in front of the cameras, pushing it close to the screen and dancing about like a loon.  Then he turned to the crowd and did the same, thrusting his beloved book at the cheering spectators.

I don't doubt for one moment that God loves triple jump bronze medallists more than any other of His children*, but why does some twerp always do this at a major championships, and why is it almost always an American?

Jonathan Edwards used to be a very Christian triple jumper indeed - and he was at least the Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion, as well as the first man ever to jump beyond 18 metres - but he never resorted to waving the Bible about when he won.  Perhaps he knew it was a bit dubious: a few years after he retired, Edwards renounced his beliefs.

So, at next year's London Games, just for once, just for the novelty, I hope that a medal-winning athlete dashes over and pulls a genuinely interesting tome out from among their sweaty socks and pants.  Ideally, it would be something like Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not A Christian, or A. C. Grayling's The Good Book, but to be honest, I wouldn't mind if it was the Koran.  At least it would make a change.




*I do, of course, based on the fact that it is impossible for a non-existent entity to have children, triple-jumping or otherwise.
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