How the Premier League will help you conquer your Olympics withdrawal symptoms
The Olympics is an all-consuming fortnight of sport, and it’s likely that now it’s over, you’re going to miss it like crazy, right? Wrong. The Premier League is everything the Olympics was, and so much more.
Despite the pool turning green, there’s every chance you fell in love with the diving at the Olympic games, with Ireland's Oliver Dibley making it to the final of the men's 3m springboard competition.
But it’s bad news I’m afraid, because the fact is that the Olympics was your best chance to catch some diving on TV. So what to do next? The football season is your unlikely solution.
The Premier League and others around the world have been full of divers for years. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Gareth Bale, Arjen Robben to Robert Pires, the game has a rich history of men willing to hurl themselves theatrically to the floor, often tumbling and rolling as they do so.
And if you’re lucky, on a rainy day there may even be a splash or two.
2. 100m Sprint
One step at a time #Rio2016
A photo posted by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) on
The Olympics always supplies great drama on the track, and with Usain Bolt in attendance, the build-up to the contest that determines the fastest man on earth is always justified.
So the sense of despair when it’s all over and the lights inside the Olympic Stadium are turned out is difficult to cope with, right?
Once again the Premier League has you covered. England’s top division plays host to some of the fastest sportsmen on the planet, with the likes of Hector Bellerin, Nathaniel Clyne, Raheem Sterling and Eden Hazard chasing the ball with all the intent of an Olympic sprinter going for gold.
Bonus satisfaction can be found when two or more rapid players race one another across the pitch, and with the right combination of crowd noise, fast-paced running and wealthy sponsors lining the track/pitch, you’ll be forgetting about Rio quicker than you can say 9.58 seconds.
3. High Jump
If you’ve fallen in love with the high jump (and why wouldn’t you have?) then you’re sure to miss the sight of magnificently tall Olympians hurling themselves metres into the air and onto a crash mat.
But there’s no need to be upset. The Premier League boasts a variety of body types, including those of a tall disposition. To fight the high-jump blues, feast your eyes on Stoke City’s Peter Crouch, (who comes in at a whopping 6ft 7in) and you’ll be dreaming of the Olympics once more.
For even better results, watch as tall strikers, goalkeepers and defenders alike rise high in the air to claim the ball, with Fraser Forster, Per Mertesacker and Romelu Lukaku all leaping for glory like Robbie Grabarz in an Olympic final.
SERIOUS SKILLS Watch the season's fanciest footwork – with a few outrageous goals thrown in for good measure…https://t.co/AhI65cfhP2
— Premier League (@premierleague) June 8, 2015
Simone Biles and her fellow gymnasts captured the attention of the world with their extraordinary athleticism and grace.
So how do we get that level of entertainment from the Premier League? Well, it’s all on offer every week in the self-proclaimed ‘greatest league in the world’.
The best players in the league display fancy footwork and gravity defying skill on a weekly basis, with Yannick Bolasie, Eden Hazard and Mesut Ozil dazzling audiences with pirouettes, flicks and tricks.
And if it’s the majesty of a flip that you’re after, then look no further than the bicycle kick, exhibited in synchronised fashion on the opening weekend by Hull City’s Abel Hernandez and Adama Diomande. Now if we can get a pommel horse involved we’re really talking…
Happy to help my team win, sad for @marchisiocla8. Siamo con te amico, get well soon. @juventus #ganhamos #BeTheDifference
A photo posted by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on
As much as it seemed a touch ridiculous before the Games, you’ll miss the image of a horse prancing around a sandy enclosure more than you ever thought possible. But fear not.
For more strange and confusing dance moves, look no further than the football. Twenty years ago the fanciest goal celebration was Alan Shearer’s raised arm, or Fabrizio Ravanelli’s shirt-over-the-head; these days, you could fill a Strictly Come Dancing schedule with the moves on offer.
From Paul Pogba’s dab, to Wayne Rooney’s boxing moves, Daniel Sturridge’s arm waving to the classic knee slide, there’s plenty for today’s footballer to call on. One episode of Match of the Day should be all you need to conquer those dressage withdrawal symptoms.