'Latest News From Rio' by Peter Hayward

And now, from Rio, our man Kevin Flett brings us an update on some of the lesser-known events!

“News of a surprise upset this afternoon in the Final of the Olympic Relaxation trials! As I’m sure those of you who have been following the earlier heats in the Relaxation competition know, an early favourite, Francisco Fortunato of Italy, was disqualified for taking a banned substance before one of the earlier qualifying rounds. Naturally, the taking of what I understand to have been a muscle relaxant would be absolutely prohibited in this situation, and I gather that he faces a lifetime ban. Another hotly-tipped competitor, Xavier Moncada of Mexico, was disqualified for sneezing during one of the heats; that one of course had to be redone, as the other competitors had all been thrown off their form by the sudden loud noise, and the EMG equipment had to be recalibrated.

That left the two favourites, Deng Wah of China and Frederic Oxington of the US, to go head to head. Deng trained at the Chinese Centre for Sports Science at Khalkhin Gol. It’s rumoured that even Tibetan llamas were brought in to aid him in relaxation, which, if it were true, would have interesting political implications. Oxington was of course sponsored by the Sweet Dreams Mattress Corporation, and they enlisted a number of well known psychologists with an expertise in relaxation and sleep to aid in training. In the event Oxington secured the Bronze Medal and Deng the Silver. But the surprise winner, and surprise home favourite, Lazaro Duarte, grabbed the Gold in a totally unforeseen finish, made especially shocking when it was discovered that he was not in fact a competitor but a cleaner, who had simply crashed out and fallen into a state of deep relaxation following a long shift! We’ll have to see if Lazaro has the application to pursue a career in this sport, but he does seem to have natural aptitude, and the home fans are delighted! Back to you, John!”

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