The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jen Offord Headshot

Badminton

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Last week, I went on a bit of a holiday. But there's no rest for the wicked, nor for those attempting to have a crack at every single Olympic sport, so I return with more tales of my sporty exploits, for which I know you will be grateful now that the actual real Olympics are over and we have to go back to talking about the economy, winter and all other things depressing. Just remember that I'll be single handedly keeping the legacy alive (alongside Pendleton & Smith in their own, jivey, fox troty, handsomely remunerated ways). Incidentally, for pictures of aforementioned sporty exploits and the all important medal table, why not have a look at my website?

And what a holiday it was. At a unnamed popular French resort, I took on Badminton, Archery and Beach Volleyball, and a silver rush ensued. I'm selfishly staggering the posts because I turn 30 on Saturday and I'll need something to write about next week when I invariably fail to achieve anything through my dark, tear-stained weekend.

First up, easing myself into the week of sport, I took on two Badminton challenges: Mixed Doubles (I have to come clean here and admit that only one couple was mixed in each game as we only had one man so we rotated teams and based the medals on a best of three individual scores. Complicated? Yes - it was) and Singles. With a heavy heart, I'm going to discount my singles Gold, on account of the fact that I only played up to 11 points, twice, against the worst player apart from myself.

Badminton has always struck me as a pretty easy sport. It's a sport that I loved at school, because you don't have to run around too much. I'm sure that this is in part why I found the concept of rigging a badminton match, as indeed eight players who were later disqualified during the 2012 Olympics did, so amusing. I felt pretty confident about this event, despite the fact that two of the competitors play almost every week and one was even a frigging Gamesmaker at the Olympics covering the Badminton and so pretty familiar with the rules.

First up, myself and another relative novice, Uncle Becky, took on the pros, Nic and Nick. I'm going to say that we weren't awful, but there was a little confusion about who was covering the backcourt and who the fore, and perhaps a lack of communication regarding who was going to go for it during some of the more ambiguous moments. I'm slowly coming to realise that either I am actually just inept at all sport, or there is no such thing as an "easy sport". Suffice to say we just weren't competent enough to return Nic's vicious (and it really was vicious) drive, and we lost.

So we rotate. Next Nick and I take on Nic and Uncle Becky and I'm somewhat vindicated by the fact that Nick can't meet Nic's drive, either, but we win anyway after a couple of decent ish rallies and some further instruction on how I might try to be, well, a bit less crap at serving. At this point I wonder if Nick is the strongest link or Uncle Becky is the weakest.

It all becomes clear in the thrilling final match when after several match points, Nick and Uncle Becky beat Nic and I. I should add that at 6'4", Nick does have a bit of a physical advantage over the rest of us. After some complicated calculations, we decide that Nick takes the Gold and the rest of us are joint silver medallists, adding to my haul of one other silver medal. The fact that it's so easy to be awarded medals is pretty much my favourite thing about this whole challenge and frankly, quite a damming indictment on me.

Onto the Singles and it seems that I am better when I know for definite that I am expected to hit the shuttle cock rather than hoping someone else might do it, and I consistently beat uncle Becky in the singles competition. Though in fairness, she was quite busy taking photos of me at the time.