(Actually, they’re not. We’re feeling all pretentious this morning and wish to demonstrate our superior education in the Classics.)
Turns out the 2012 Olympic venue for canoe slalom, Spitalbrook in Hertfordshire, is tainted with muck. Heavy pollution has forced the Olympic Delivery Authority to seek a new location six miles further south. The proposed move has yet to be approved by the International Olympic Committee.
We think shifting the event to cleaner waters is a wasted opportunity. Imagine the educational value of holding the slalom on a watercourse seriously contaminated with ‘petrol, oil and tar’. The spoiled brook might be compared to the bubbling, carbonaceous soup present on the primordial Earth. What better riposte to the Creationist school of non-thought than recreating this gloopy, ancient environment for a worldwide television audience? Watch in awe as the greatest canoeists on earth slog their way through the sludgy precursors of primitive life. Their churning paddles encouraging amino acids into a nucleophilic dance that can only lead to long-chain polymer formation and the eventual emergence of cellular lifeforms.
On second thoughts, we don’t want to replicate the Beijing Olympics.
Image (not of Spitalbrook) taken from Ankraut's Flickr photostream.