For some, the Games is already over

In the Olympic village, the evolution of the species happens overnight.

The second weekend of the Olympic Games marked a watershed, the sudden transformation of some of the most dedicated and competitive men and women into party animals who just want to have fun.

The final week is the point where having a rower or a swimmer as a neighbour no longer seems such a good idea.

For them, the games are over. Their events are done, the golds won and now -- like the exhortations to crowds all over the Olympic Park -- is the time to join the spectators and make some noise.

British rower Mark Hunter, the 2008 Olympic champion in the lightweight double scull who won a silver on Saturday, was asked what his future held.

“A lot of partying and getting drunk next week, it’s the Olympic Games, it’s time to have fun and socialise in the second part of the week,” he replied. It’s way too early to think about anything beyond that. It’s about supporting team GB now and getting up the medal table with other sports and seeing what we can achieve as a team.”

Compatriot Peter Wilson, who bagged a shooting gold, declared he was ‘going to get very, very drunk and perhaps do something silly’.

Bradley Wiggins, winner of the Tour de France and the Olympic cycling time trial, has already posted on Twitter a picture of himself with a vodka and tonic in hand and the words ‘Blind drunk at the minute’. “They’ll be out and getting on it and coming back and pissing all the athletics (people) off, because they’re all trying to do their competition and stuff,” he said of the swimmers in an interview with Absolute Radio on Sunday.

The streamlined swimmers, used to hours and hours in the pool each day, do have something of a reputation when it comes to letting off steam.

Twelve years ago, on the eve of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, triple jump world record holder and the eventual Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards, famously told reporters what he thought of some of his fellow competitors. “The swimmers are awful. They finish their competition and stay in the village and party for the rest of the Games,” he said.
“Ninety per cent of them can’t win medals, they are there to have fun. If my sleep is interrupted by the swimmers coming back at 2 am from a party because they are finished, I might be tempted to move out of the village.”

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