All this talk of the Olympics has reminded me of the fact that when I was a kid, my burning ambition was to take part in the Pony Club Tetrathlon. I think it was the combination of horses and guns that appealed. As I didn't have access to either, this was an ambition that was never going to get off the ground. These days I have the pony but no gun and my competitive days are long gone.
Even so, the event appeals and the Olympic version is known as the Modern Pentathlon. I'd like to suggest an improvement. An event for our times known as The Really Modern Pentathlon. It would involve competitors converging on their local shopping center. They would start with a bit of looting. The competitors would then set light to the shops and fire at the police before finally running off. The event would test initiative as well as fire-lighting, running and shooting skills. Those who had the wit to nick a decent pair of trainers before setting the shops ablaze would obviously have an advantage in the running section.
No special venues would be required and the events could take place nationwide. Those who failed to achieve gold, silver or bronze could be put to death. Or, we could settle for public floggings instead thus keeping all you Guardian readers out there happy; tickets could be sold for both the event and the subsequent floggings, thus generating much needed revenue for cash strapped local authorities.
I think it's a corker and if the idea takes off, I suggest we assemble an expat team. Just think of all the packs of Atora suet, self-raising flour and J-cloths that could be swiped, brought back to France and sold on the black market.