David Leggat on sport

David Leggat is a Herald sport writer

David Leggat: Mixed doubles proving popular with athletes

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Photo / APN
Photo / APN

Great news: athletes are having sex at the Commonwealth Games village.

Lashings of it too, if reports of drains being blocked by thousands of condoms being shoved down them are true.

This is an important part of the Games, always has been, the harmonising of international relations in time-honoured fashion.

It has always been that way, and not surprising considering the amounts of testosterone wafting about a confined space and athletes looking to let rip after months of channelling their energies towards winning medals here.

There was a reporter whose first job upon arrival at every Olympic Games - he put his hand up and volunteered, it should be added - was to head to the red light area and talk to the hookers.

It was strictly for business purposes, in the journalistic sense, if you follow. His angle was to find out how their line of business was going.

Had they noticed an influx of tourists and were they expecting profits to be up over the coming fortnight, that sort of thing.

So in that sense he could argue it was a travel/business story.

The Commonwealth Games president Mike Fennell passed comment on the mixed doubles story of the week.

"That is a very positive story. We all know that promoting safe sex is a very responsible thing to do, and if that is happening then the athletes are being very responsible," the Jamaican said.

It was not clear whether Fennell was being po-faced on a serious social issue or if this was him making a joke.

That's the problem with the three stooges, the others being Games chief executive Mike Hooper and organising committee boss Suresh Kalmadi.

They have a conference most days and they tend to be a hoot. Kalmadi's standard line to reporters on most things is "I'll get back to you tomorrow". He might as well say "You'll know by Christmas".

What they have yet to discuss is Paul Henry, who with High Commissioner Rupert Holborow are the best-known New Zealanders in India right now.

There Henry was in all his buck-toothed, sneering glory on New Delhi breakfast television yesterday.

He is on the front and inside pages of India's biggest newspapers, in what could be called a two-for-one - for his disgraceful remarks about Delhi's popular chief minister Sheila Dikshit, and his views of Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand.

Diplomats aren't known for route one straight talking, but Holborow cut to the chase yesterday. "Vulgar" was the standout word of his statement on Henry.

For all that TVNZ keep spouting that people tell them he's so popular because he tells it like it is, trying to find a New Zealander in Delhi who shares that view is not easy.

You might think Henry's fellow broadcasters would be in his corner but you'd be dead wrong. From them, there is only condemnation of his actions and demeanour. They are as appalled as the rest of us.

- NZ Herald

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