A country shouldn’t be able to just buy Olympic medals, right?
If you agree, here’s a story I love repeating. It’s
one about importing athletes and money down the drain. Hark back to the
2000 games in Sydney and the lovely country of Qatar.
Qatar? Yeah, I know. Sounds more like a musical
instrument than a sovereign nation. Sounds like something Yoni would
pick up and sing “Oh where, oh where have “U” gone?”
Okay, okay, I’m not going to make a big deal about
Qatar missing its “U”. After all, Qatar has enough oil money that if
they wanted to they could buy a “U” from another country.
And I’m sure Kraine would sell it to them.
Back to the story.
The Sheiks of Qatar were sitting around (on silk
pillows stuffed with soft, fluffy one-hundred-dollar bills) thinking
they need to win Olympic medals and might do so in the weightlifting
events. But then they looked about and saw all their citizens smoking
hookahs and figured water pipes can’t weigh that much. They even
noticed the giant feather fans cooling them were being waved by foreign
servants. So where were they going to find champion weightlifters?
Duh?! Even I know the answer – Bulgaria!
They hatched a scheme to import Bulgarians. Yes, in
Bulgaria weightlifters grow on trees. Well, not really… but they live
in them. And Qataris look a little like Bulgarians. Well, except for
the muscles parts. But close enough they could change a few names,
doctor up citizenship papers. You get the picture.
Also they were to pay the Bulgarians the kind of
money they don’t see in Bulgaria. If the Bulgarians had Qatari money,
they wouldn’t be living in trees.
Plus they gave the new Qatari citizens new names.
Angel Papov became Said Assad. Yani Marchokov became Jaber Salem.
Andrei Ivanov became Abbas Nadur.
So here’s the payoff. In the Olympic village each
country has its own dietician and prepares meals to suit country
customs. Qataris love rice mixed with dates and a little lamb so long
as it’s doused with sugar. Bulgarian weightlifters, on the other hand,
revel in high protein, high fat items like milk, cheese and beef. Are
you ready for the sweet irony? When the new highly paid citizens sat
down to their Olympic Village Qatari meals they developed a heavy case
of diarrhea. And when you’re talking weightlifters it really is heavy
duty. So much so they had to withdraw from the events. There wasn’t
enough Kaopectate in all of Australia to bail them out. Because if
there’s any sport you don’t want to chance if you’ve got diarrhea, it’s
So here you go. Qatar paid Bulgaria millions for
their weightlifters, plus they paid the guys millions only to see all
that money going down the toilet. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer
bunch of cheats.