Not winning, it’s the not drinking that matters

Mukul Kesavan in The Telegraph:

“Watching Abhinav Bindra [at the Beijing Olympics], I suddenly thought of how much more exciting dart championships on British television used to be: large men with beer bellies flipping darts with improbable delicacy, their pinkies extended, and then the riveting close ups of the dartboard as the missiles thunked home. Why wasn’t darts an Olympic sport?

“There was a simplicity to it, a manual quality, compared to the the automated gizmo-like feel of air-rifle shooting, that corresponded more closely to the Olympic ideal of physical striving and excellence.

“For that matter, why wasn’t snooker or pool an Olympic medal sport? Snooker, with its green baize and coloured balls, makes for great television, and in terms of physical exertion, snooker is to air rifle shooting what the decathlon is to snooker. I can only guess that both snooker and darts are associated with pubs and bars and drink, and don’t come across as wholesome sports.”