Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Greco-Roman Supporters Club

My frenzied enthusiasm for London 2012 has been building since that triumphant moment when we beat France at Agincourt (sorry - at an IOC meeting in Singapore). When the tickets were released a year ago I applied for every event I recognised, not to mention all the ones that looked authentically Olympian. This meant that Handball and horse dancing were out, but Greco-Roman Wrestling was very definitely in. 
England v France

And it was with great pride that my three ticket-wielding chums and I alighted a cheery Sunday London Underground and headed out to the ExCel centre ('you have checked this is in London haven't you Kate?') for some Greco-Roman frolics. 

We'd agreed on togas. Yet when the strapping army officer chum we'll call Harvey arrived at the Pad holding little more than a stolen towel to fashion into attire, chances of fulfilling our self-imposed dress code seemed slim. We had two pins between us and my bed sheet was sceptical about its reincarnation as an item of clothing. It had just started raining.

It was the weather that sharpened our resolve. We're British aren't we? Bad weather, arts and crafts and living in the past is what we do. By this stage the two of us were holding up proceedings so Harvey and I abandoned all pretences to modesty and trusted our luck to the safety pins. We went to rescue the third and fourth members of our Greco-Roman Supporters Club (GRSC3 and 4) from station and pub respectively. 

GRSC4 had adapted the Greco-Roman theme to include a fairground Union Jack hat, facepaint and a Union Jack for a cloak. He looked like a cross between Ronald McDonald and Count Dracula if they'd accidentally fallen into a BNP rally.

Over the wrestling itself, it is best if we draw a veil. Our ignorance - despite much youtube research - was total. There were some truly surprising moves that left us all perplexed that the event had not come with a PG-13 warning. There was a good bit when North Korea fought South Korea ('Who are we supporting?' 'Good Korea obviously') though we didn't quite catch the winner. There was a very small chap who cried when he lost, but the cheering that then followed him out of the building was as heart-warming as it was deserved. 

I'm not going to rabbit on about the atmosphere like some Matt Baker lookalike, but the good-humour and enthusiasm of the crowd (despite the terror-inducing brutality before our eyes) was a sight to behold. Neighbours coveted our union jacks, though no Briton was represented that session. Others praised our costumes with un-British enthusiasm that turned out to be neither sarcastic nor fearful. 

At the end of the day, back on our Noble British Public Transport System, we wended our separate ways knowing that we'd been a part of something great. And if we'd never been quite sure who won, over at Wimbledon Andy Murray was busily claiming his Gold, so we (I) got the opportunity to blub with pride after all.


  1. alas, i wasn't able to watch any of the lymmies from my foreign location. thank jebus for the wall to wall daily mail coverage (which did not include GRW). did you see a 'gut wrench' or 'body lock', i wonder? and what is 'traditional/folk wrestling'?

    Yours in mystery,


  2. mysterious L! what a pleasing sight you are. i think it was the par terre -er- stance that really got the heart rate up. as i understand it, GRW involves no leg brutality which makes it different from traditional/folk wrestling. and what they definitely needed was MORE BRUTALITY x

  3. Where have you gone KITC? Can we have another post soon please? Maybe about your most recent foreign holiday!