The Olympic Games, once a highlight in the sporting calendar, as with all individual sports, have now become corrupted by excess.

With the Olympics this constitutes adding ever more events, in the process diluting the value of an Olympic medal. Such is the way of the modern world.

Given that, here’s a suggestion for a new Olympic event, in which New Zealand could clean up both the gold and silver. That’s high speed head-nodding when listening to someone talking.

In that respect rugby commentators Jeff Wilson and Kirsty Stanaway would whack all likely competition.

A mate of mine produced a stop-watch so we could time them. We did this as first impressions suggest Jeff is the supremo but I noted Kirsty’s head nod travels a shorter distance, and so it proved.

Jeff nods his head on average 115 times during one minute’s listening to the reply to one of his questions whereas Kirsty twice cracked 125 nods by her shorter nod ploy. Plainly rules would be necessary to ensure fairness. For example, contestants could wear a necklace with a large block hanging beneath their chin to overcome time-wasting deep nods. At the bottom of each nod their chin must touch this block which would be electronically devised to record a correct nod.

In the years ahead this event could become the equivalent of the four minute mile which up until Roger Bannister first cracked it seven decades ago, was thought beyond human capability.

The question would be, who could first break the 200 head nods in the prescribed minute’s listening?


Thanks Sir Bob for you’re observations on this topic. However, the PM wins hands down. She has this down pat, her head bobbing makes Geoff Wilson look like a rank amateur. Hand waving of course is another area of her expertise. 2 gold medals for Ardern guaranteed.

The other noteworthy nodders appear at the political stand up interviews favoured by TV networks.
The Politician being interviewed assembles behind them a team whose job it is to nod vigorously through out the interview.
The number and rank of your Nodders is a statement on how your party values you. So Jacinda frequently has Grant Robertson, Fatty Woods, Andrew Little plus two or three random Ministers. Lower ranked Ministers might get a cluster of back benchers nodding wistfully for higher honours.
Phil10,000 housesTwyford, were he ever to be interviewed again would probably have to make do with Gaurav Sharma..

Quite true Sir Bob – it annoys the hell out of me.

However if New Zealand really wanted to haul in the medals then we should consider lobbying for even more Olympic Games classes such as toothy smiles, frowning, gesticulating & bull-shitting.

Our esteemed PM, by the time the next Olympic Games are held, will have a bit of spare time on her hands so we could ship her off to the games where she will haul in Golds in all of the above sports by what will become unbeatable historic records.

It will be a great way to assure NZ is at the pointy end of the medal table at the conclusion of the Games.

So would having an empty head be a bonus or a hindrance?

politicians standing behind their speaker would easily win this one !!!

Very good idea ! What a laugh !

With a sign interpreter on hand, maori subtitles and a category for transgender athletes..and medals for turning up.

Any one familiar with film will know that when filming an interview with only one camera the director always has to go back and film the “noddies”…A suitable number of nods from the interviewer to create the impression he was listening…

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