In Olympic competition, the host country gets to enter someone or a team in every event, I believe, and this is a direct outgrowth of this — the AP notes that the Brits are looking for tall people to compete in London’s 2012 games, and have roped about 50 people in open tryouts from their “Sporting Giants” program.
This is solely for sports like volleyball, rowing, fairly minor stuff (it wouldn’t quite fly for basketball, according to the GB hoops coach — besides, he’s got Luol Deng and Ben Gordon to tap, so it’s not impossible), but the concept of finding ordinary folks to fill out squads in non-marquee sports is amusing.
Stuart Campbell gave up his job as a personal trainer to join the British Handball Academy in Denmark.
“I had never even seen a handball court before Sporting Giants,” the 25-year-old Campbell said. “But we’re not just here to make up the numbers — we’re here to win medals.”
Frances Nicholls, who had been working as a teacher in York, has now relocated to Henley, home of Britain’s most famous rowing regatta, after being fast-tracked onto Britain’s national rowing program.
“It’s been an absolute whirlwind,” the 23-year-old Nicholls said.
Rowers, handballers, volleyball players — yet no one for the basketball program simply to take up some room on the court and collect fouls from LeBron or someone else going to the hoop? C’mon, Brits, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity here; no one wants your lasting impact on the world of basketball to be this guy’s WWL-orchestrated media kerfuffle: