Perhaps the days of the modern Olympics are over. Oh, don't get me wrong; I'm one for the grand occasion and I'm certainly one for honouring all those wonderful athletes.

But might it all have got out of hand?

I'm talking about host cities in debt, infrastructures unable to cope, technology unable to keep up with the demands of the opening ceremony ("This year, we present Miley Cyrus live from the moon!"), doping scandals and the inability of Chinese manufacturers to make enough Sugarloaf Mountain snowdomes to meet demand.

Then there's the cost for the athletes. It's not so bad for the swimmer who only needs a flight and a pair of swimming trunks but let's look at an equestrian contestant. You can't just put your horse on the bus, you know. It's megabucks, a lot of chook raffles.


Then there's the need for the host city to put on a closing ceremony which does not look lame after the splendour of the opening ceremony and which can be paid for by the year 3000. The added burden is that both the opening and closing ceremonies must outdo the ones at the last Games and this must involve technology that hasn't yet been invented. It's a big ask.

Just think how all this started out. Historical records tell us that the first ancient Olympics were held in 776BC on the plains of Olympia, Greece. There was no TV coverage and the only event was running in the nude.

In later years, other events were added such as discus, javelin, chariot racing and running while wearing armour. Winners were awarded olive leaf wreaths or crowns. It was simple, honest stuff.

When the idea was revived in 1896 in Athens, 14 countries competed and I'm sure nobody on that original International Olympic Committee would have dreamed of the magnitude of the event in our day.

The ridiculous problems of hosting modern Olympics were superbly sent up in John Clarke's TV mockumentary, The Games, which satirised the preparation for Sydney's hosting of the Games in 2000. With help from Ross Stevenson, Bryan Dawe and Gina Riley, our very own Fred Dagg-creator satirised corruption and cronyism in the Olympic organisation as well as bureaucratic ineptness and unethical behaviour by politicians and the media.

Now, in Rio, it's all happening again. It was surely not a good look when police officers protesting against unpaid wages and poor working conditions welcomed visitors to Rio's main airport with banners reading "welcome to hell".

It's time to rethink the event and that's where I come in. I have a plan which will save billions and avoid stress and financial ruin in the host cities. The events would be pared down, of course, so I'm afraid there would be no lacrosse, equestrian events or synchronised swimming.

And the whole thing would be over in a day so that people around the globe would not be glued to their TVs for two weeks.

There would still be running and, in a tasteful nod to tradition, this would be run in the nude. The other events would be a three-legged race, a sack race, an egg and spoon race and apple bobbing.

Gold, silver and bronze medals would be done away with and replaced with lollies. All contestants would be given lollies so that no minnow nation would feel left out.

Opening ceremonies would simply involve cutting a ribbon and showing a video of Taylor Swift.

It may be radical but I believe it's a simple way of solving the enormous problems created by what man has done to the modern Games.

- Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.