In a refreshing change to how Olympic medals will be awarded the IOC has announced that the public will decide which of the first three competitors in each event will receive the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals during the London games.
The concept, as seen on talent shows across the world, involves each of the competitors (who will now be known as contestants) being allocated an individual phone number which will enable viewers at home to vote for their favourite athletes, boxers, marksmen, gymnasts and show jumpers irrelevant of the final placing within the top three.
Winners chosen by viewers through telephone, Internet, and SMS text voting will be awarded the gold medal, those receiving the second highest number of votes the silver and finally the bronze medal for the “contestant’ receiving the least number of public votes.
The premise behind the idea is to not only raise money to pay for the Games, which has cost UK taxpayers over 20 billion quid but to add some fun and interest for viewers and spectators in the lesser appreciated events such as archery, kayaking, weight lifting and the synchronised swimming.
Some analysts are suggesting that the Olympics and sport in general is just the beginning of “viewer power” and that high profile criminal and civil trials could be decided in the same way, with profits from the premium rated phone calls being used to offset the costs involved in prosecuting crime.
“Why should it end there?” asked the pioneer of viewer voting phone in contests and “Idol” franchise creator Simon Fuller. “Wars, general elections, the Oscars, BAFTAS – everything really could be decided by the viewer watching at home”.
The only down side to the plan is that should a dancing dog ever stand for Parliament then in all likelihood, based on the recent trends, he would probably end up being Prime Minister.