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The Olympic Handshake Fiasco

Posted: 6/03/2012 11:08

"He's got the whole wide world in his hands," so the children's song goes, although now it can be re-worked: "He's got the whole wide world in his hands... except the British as they refused on the grounds of hygiene".

My thoughts on a proper handshake have been documented before, but apparently the British Olympic Association has not been listening.

Instead they have today issued instructions to our Olympians not to shake the hands of rivals and officials at the games in case they pick up any germs and illnesses.

This is not a long blog post as I am pretty confident that the entire nation, no - world, will be behind me on this: WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

The handshake is a sign of mutual respect: it originated from the time when gentlemen carried swords and presenting the hand, out-stretched and open showed that they came in peace. Whilst men don't carry weapons now the custom is still with us and a proper handshake shows equality between the two parties.

The Olympics, whilst being nothing more than a two-week hyped-up school sports day, now carry diplomatic purposes, as we have seen in past games.

Do we really think it is sensible to make our athletes - our ambassadors - refuse the hand of a competitor on the grounds that 'they don't know where it's been' and they may catch a nasty bug? This really is bonkers. I am still speechless now.

Even if the logic is explained to the person whose hand you've just refused shake, it doesn't make the situation any better.

Where will it stop?? Maybe it's best if Tom Daley and Rebecca Adlington don't go in the pools in case they catch a verruca off the French.

 

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