Olympic organisers have long known that medal presentations create perplexing problems for the recipients as the media descends on them to create images for a waiting world. There is only so much you can do with a medal on a ribbon without it looking like a set piece.Although this was supposed to be an Olympic secret, I can now reveal that all competitors were given medal receipt behavior instructions, behind closed doors, immediately they arrived at the Olympic village in Rio. There are only three poses which medal winners are trained to perfect and indeed permitted to use.
Pose 1. Wear the medal dangling on its ribbon as nonchalant naval protection.
Pose 2. Hold the medal between the thumb and forefinger next to the cheek and show all your teeth in a huge, jaw-locking smile. Bend towards the camera while doing this.
Pose 3. Break the above pose by kissing the medal. Look at the medal lovingly and then assume Pose 1.
Pose 4. Turn the medal parallel to the ground and bite it, then laugh.
The problem is that these four poses have become so overused that they have lost their spontaneity. I humbly submit some fresh medal-winner poses for the consideration of the Olympic organisers so that recipients will not be seen as robotic.
Pose 5. Hold the medal aloft by its ribbon, turn side-on and pretend to lower it down the throat to a depth of about 20 centimeters before slowly drawing it up. This is an old sword swallowing trick that can be quickly mastered.
Pose 6. Swing the medal rapidly around on its ribbon, like a propeller, and move towards the nearest person with a camera. Make loud aircraft engine noises.
Pose 7. Open the top of your tracksuit pants and drop the medal so that it goes down one leg of the track suit. Then plunge your right arm down and fish around, finally retrieving it with a cheer. Hold it up and sniff it.
Pose 8. Substitute a gold foil coated chocolate medal for the real thing, Quickly peel it and eat it.