I was confronted by a particularly stubborn stain whilst cleaning the kitchen floor the other day.
Not one to be defeated by the remnants of a mid-week meal, I adopted a squat-style stance near to the stain, anchored my feet, clasped my marigold-covered hands around the mop and got stuck in.
A 60-second struggle ensued. Beads of sweat began to form on my brow. Unflinching, I added a splash of Dettol, toiled away and banished that little spot into dirt heaven. Victory was mine.
Then it dawned on me. Had I turned the heating off I’d be a shoo-in for scooping a medal for Team GB in the next Winter Olympics. One would presume, anyway, given that the spectacle showers gold upon those who excel in performing domestic chores in the cold.
I refer to curling - a ‘sport’ given £5 million worth of Government funding in the build-up to Sochi 2014. Curling always comes in for a bashing when the cold-weather Games come round, but to me it is just the tip of the iceberg (geddit?!).
Try as I may I simply cannot take the Winter Olympics seriously. It is not within me to afford the baggy-trousered folk who look like they’ve taken a temporary break from flogging pairs of Converse to compete the same level of admiration as the athletes of London 2012.
The story of Vanessa Mae epitomises my point.
Six months ago the globally-renowned violinist began training to make Thailand women’s giant slalom team - ‘a lifelong dream’. She finished 67th. Of 67.
Only the Winter Olympics could afford a 35-year-old classical music star the opportunity to play out a premature mid-life crisis - she branded herself a ‘mad old woman’ - on the world’s sporting stage. It was like Sally Bercow with snow. But less dignified.
I’ve no doubt that many winter sports require the same level of commitment, training and talent as the sister summer Games.
A large quantity of the hard graft, however, seems to be done by the laws of physics. And they never get anything. Just once I’d like to hear a medal-winner say ‘of course, I couldn’t have done it without the absence of friction, there for me through it all...’.
It might be cold, but Sochi 2014 feels like a warm-up act. Bring on the summer - and the wonderful World Cup.