Friday, 23 November 2007

The Azogires Olympics - a true tale

It’s alleged that in about 1976, Azogires, for a very brief moment, nearly became the centre of international attention by being the first village in Greece to revive the ancient tradition of young men competing in foot races whilst naked – the manner in which the original Olympic games were conducted.

According to a local legend* a young Austrian girl then living in the village came to the attention of a rather elderly villager who, in spite of his wife’s protestations, got into the habit of visiting the young lady each morning with presents of bread, olives and honey. It was a purely platonic relationship; the age of the gentleman in question, he was believed to be over 90 at the time, ensuring this.

Eventually the young lady fell under the spell of a handsome** young Scotsman and, in due course, what might be described as a non-platonic relationship developed between these two.

The Austro/ Hibernian entente was rudely disturbed one morning by the arrival of the older Greek man. In those days no doors in the village were ever left locked and when he came to deliver his daily gift, he knocked on the door, opened it and found that the young lady had a somewhat younger suitor. On discovering the couple in bed, his pride was sorely wounded. He then lost his temper and producing his knife, proceeded to exclaim, in a loud voice and complete with graphic gesticulation, exactly what he proposed to do to the young Scot.

At about this point Caledonian discretion overcame Caledonian valour and, without further ado, or pausing to get dressed, our hero leaped out of the bed and out of the window. He then proceeded to make his way, at high speed, down the road past the Alpha Kafenion, pursued, albeit at some distance, by the elderly Greek gentleman who was still waving his knife.

It is said that as the spectacle passed the Kafenion an Austrian resident watching the naked figure remarked that it would be a nice idea to revive the Olympics in their original form. Fortunately, or unfortunately, his suggestion was never taken up.

The number of points the Judges awarded to either of the competitors is not recorded.

*Believed to be one Andrew Millar.
** This fact has been disputed.

1 comment:

Mick McTiernan said...

Tragically, Andy Millar died after an accident in September 2007, shortly after this blog was posted. He is buried in Azogires