Olympus Circa 2016

Entry by: rodgriff

15th August 2016
The press was in a frenzy; everyone wanted to know her side of the story. Where had she been? For three days they had been searching. There were posters all over the town still visible everywhere.

There were stories that her nerves had got the better of her, but rumours of kidnap too. Gangsters were interviewed, Favelas were searched, but there were no clues. The favourite doesn’t disappear before a competition. She had been training for four years; if she was going to get nerves surely she would have had them by now. Others suggested that she must be a drug cheat; that she’d decided to quit before she was found out.

The simple fact was that no one knew, and then she re-appeared. By a bizarre chance of when the samples were required, or possibly because of some kind of screw up or scandal yet to emerge, she hadn’t actually missed a drug test. She had disappeared immediately after the last test and she appeared just in time for the next.

The place was agog when she came onto the stadium and everyone held their breath for the first round of jumps. She declined. Ah yes, they thought, saving her energy. She skipped the next round while two competitors were eliminated. She skipped the next round, bouncing around, keeping warm and smiling at the world.

That was when the suspicions began. No one remembers where the idea came from.
'She’s taller,' someone said.

The press fever became more intense. Binoculars were trained from all angles as she skipped yet another round. These were still heights that she had jumped hundreds of times, heights she’d cleared in the qualifying, so her action was seen as simply putting pressure on the others.

Cameramen were carefully positioning themselves to get pictures with the height markers in the background A consensus soon emerged that her legs were six centimetres longer.

That rumour spread even faster; appearing on Twitter before the next round was done, and still she didn’t jump.
‘It must be someone else.’
‘She’ll need a DNA test as well as a dope test.’
‘If she jumps at all.’

And then she did jump. When there were six left she jumped and cleared the height in one go. She jogged, she stretched and Twitter continued to explode. When there were three left she jumped again, and cleared in one.

‘Longer legs is a big advantage,’ said one commentator, ‘but how is it possible?’

Frantic research confirmed that growth hormone, banned anyway and easily detected, never works in three days. TV channels were searching their databases to find the right expert.

Three rounds later she was the only one left and she cleared again and then she set a new world record; jumping as though she could have done another ten centimetres.

Her crew shielded her until the medals were presented. By then there was no doubt when she stood on the podium; high jumpers tend to be tall, but she towered over them all and the press frenzy continued.

She refused to go to the press conference.
‘No one will believe me,’ she said.
One favoured correspondent who had known her father eventually blagged his was to a TV interview. By then the DNA and the drug tests were all normal and the gold medal was around her neck.

‘Aliens made my legs grow,’ she said. ‘I was kidnapped by aliens.’
No one believed her.