Past Sports from the past week.
Past sports article for the week of 12/12/08
Rumble In The Arctic Profile: Charlie “The Rabid Ostrich of Calcutta” Biggson
By Grey Sports (Continued from ep. VIII)
As we await even more litigation, rules lawyering and something called jiggery pokery to get out of the way before the race that will ultimately decide ownership of the Arctic Circle and its presumably limitless resources we are presenting another in what may be a series of articles about the men and women looking to contest the race.
Charlie Biggson (do not call her Charlene, I still haven’t passed my iPod) is one of the leading Australian competitors.
At 59 she is the oldest female competitor, and possibly the third oldest overall if a certain preening Italian ever reveals his age, and far from shy about it.
Chosen specifically for her mechanical and harsh environment experience, Biggson has a long and chequered career all over the world, fixing oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, two terms in the Antarctic station fixing the deep fryers and electric waffle iron, advising NASA on the placement of spoilers on satellites and delivering pizza in Compton.
When the call came out for competitors in the race to the Arctic Charlie had to return to her home nation of Australia. Less out of a sense of loyalty and more because the same tax sting that nabbed Paul Hogan also netted Charlie, who hasn’t paid taxes to anyone since the late 80’s when she assumed that financial crisis let everyone off scot free.
Should the race be decided to be run as a team event Charlie, at the very least, is going to be keeping the Australian team’s equipment running, more likely she will be designing, something she could also do on an individual basis to give all Australian competitors an edge.
Though neither is an easy task Charlie is more than qualified to face the challenge of launching the largest nation furthest from the Arctic’s attempt to win it all, having already travelled to the slums of Rio and build rocketpants for the homeless and developed a form of entertainment that isn’t destroyed by the presence of David Caruso alone.
If on the other hand Charlie decides to compete directly she could fulfil engineering role on any machine entered, or possibly pilot. This latter experience is little known, however she is the first person to land at Heathrow airport in an aluminium rowboat.
She has said in her defence of that incident “I didn’t know the cannon was armed”.
All the same Biggson is fully qualified to drive anything with wings, wheels or a gas powered barbeque, the result of having grown up in Australia’s Outback.
Charlie has said her biggest inspirations were her parents and younger brother. Both parents are hard working farmers and skilled mechanics who often took their children on afternoon flights or engaged in a little child labour to get a job done.
Charlie’s younger brother, Chuck (don’t question the naming habits of their parents, someone else wants their iPod back), has proven an inspiration though his persistence and dogged independence, even bloody-mindedness.
Born blind Chuck is presently serving twelve years in a Queensland jail for painting local miners green with pink polka dots.
With a background like this Charlie “The Rabid Ostrich of Calcutta” is sure to be an asset to her team, and the neutron bomb to everyone else.
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