The idea of Toowoomba or Pittsworth or Dalby hosting Olympic events might sound a little far-fetched. “But if we can have a soccer world cup in Qatar then anything is possible,” Stephen Denham said. The university student made headlines last year when he, along with several friends, created the ‘Star Wars Backyard Trailer’, a shot-for-shot remake of the upcoming film preview featuring Toowoomba landmarks. He thinks if Toowoomba can be shoe-horned into a galaxy far, far away, it can play a part in the Olympics. (via Creative Commons Flickr: Shawn Carpenter)
“I reckon we could start by incorporating some of our landmarks,” Mr Denham said. “The Olympics have table tennis. We’ve got Tabletop Mountain. Let’s host the ping pong there.” The city of Toowoomba is perched on top of the Great Dividing Range. “We could definitely use the Range,” Mr Denham said. “We could have people going up or down. We could have the luge and mountain biking there.” (ABC Southern Qld: Peter Gunders)
“I grew up in Pittsworth,” Mr Denham said. “It is very much a basketball town. Our deputy principal was into basketball and if you played basketball you couldn’t get in trouble.” The small town on the Darling Downs has a population of 3,000 people and Mr Denham thinks several world-class basketball courts would need to be built in town, “I’m certain that’s exactly what we should do with taxpayer’s money,” he laughed. “I think it could be controversial, but when every kid in Pittsworth can do a lay-up with consummate ease, the proof will be in the pudding.” (Creative Commons via Flickr: Brian Yap)
While Toowoomba is home to one of the world’s biggest flagpoles, it has one of the world’s smallest lakes – Lake Annand. “If they have small sailing boats we could definitely put them on Lake Annand,” Mr Denham said. “I’d pay to see that. And I think synchronised swimming is our kind of scene too, people just don’t know they love it yet.” (ABC Southern Qld: Peter Gunders)
“We could include some of the towns surrounding Toowoomba, go a bit rural, and replace fencing with… fencing,” Mr Denham laughed. “Think of the Olympics as one big working bee!” (supplied: John Elliott)
Designs for the long-awaited second range crossing for Toowoomba measure the road at 41 kilometres, one kilometre shy of the marathon distance. “It could be the impetus we need to get off our butts and build it by 2028,” Mr Denham said. “But if it doesn’t get done in time we could get the marathoners to do laps and laps of Chalk Drive, like the (car) ‘lappers’ do.” (ABC Open: Ben Tupas)
Stephen Denham knows it might come across as if he is making fun of his town, but he insists he is celebrating the quirks of country living.
It’s the same approach he and his friends took when making the Backyard Star Wars Trailer.
“It’s a little bit like how I can talk crap about my sibling and that’s ok, but if you say the same thing about them it’s not ok,” he said.
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