Looking for a little character and humour to play off the seriousness of the pursuit of Olympic glory?
Needing a refreshing change from the usual platitudes for and comments from these extremely dedicated and talented athletes?
Look to Canadian swimmer Julia Wilkinson. She seems the right remedy and maybe worth a follow on Twitter.
It's there that you'll find her public plea for a tweet out from Canada's ubiquitous man child, Justin Bieber. Both hail from Stratford, Ontario, so I like her chances of getting a little love in return. However, as of this posting, Wilkinson waits for a tweetback from The Biebs.
In the pool, you'll find her doing her thing, serious as a heart attack, matching strokes with the world's best. Get her out of the pool, immediately afterward, and she'll light you up with a comment about "seeing God." Not only that she's seen God, but that she heard him singing some 80's shlock pop. That was her comedic comment shortly after this morning's heat in the women's 100 metre backstroke. From a Globe and Mail story penned by Allan Maki:
"I think I saw God in the last 20 metres. He was singing The Final Countdown."
Really, Julia? God was inspiring you with His version of a song that's been relegated to the final minute of play at every junior hockey arena in the land? By a song that is forever linked to a terrible magician's act on the TV show "Arrested Development?"
Hilarious, and just the kind of quote reporters crave, amidst the usual "for mom and dad and my country" fare.
Wilkinson had more, too. Again, from The Globe:
"I threw up — in the toilet, not in the ready room so point for me," she kidded in the mixed zone. "I was like, 'This is the biggest meet and the biggest day of my life so I'm okay with this.' Then I felt better, an adrenalin thing, and I'd rather be on that side, being so nervous than too relaxed.
"Off the record, I don't want my coach to know (she got sick)."
Wilkinson did well enough in her hundred metre backstoke to forge ahead to tonight's (London time) semi - final. Will she see God again? Canadian swim fans hope so, if that's what gets her through. Or, perhaps, she'll hear from an even higher power, the aforementioned Bieber.
Saturday, Wilkinson tweeted out a plea for support:
"100 back tomorrow baby! Maybe my hometown boy @justinbieber will send me a good luck RT,"
As mentioned, so far, Wilkinson will have to settle for seeing God and not Justin Bieber. But, should she do well in the semi's and earn a spot in tomorrow's 100m backstroke final? How could he refuse? It's up to you, Bieber Army, or Beliebers or whatever the heck you're called. Hit up your man so he can, in return, fire up his hometown girl for a shot at Olympic gold.
UPDATE: Wilkinson failed to qualify for the 100 metre backstroke final on Sunday, finishing 9th in her semi-final. She still waits for a Bieber shout out and has two more events in which she's swimming: The 100 metre freestyle on Wednesday and the 4 x 100 metre relay on Friday. Come on, Biebs, give the girl a boost!