THIS WHINGEING IS A DISGRACE
Sally Pearson and Anna Meares won gold overnight. Pearson in the hurdles, Meares in the velodrome.
These are wonderful stories – especially after Meares’ comeback from a broken neck four years ago – but the real Olympic story can only be kept off the front page for so long.
And it’s worse than you thought. We have a swimming emergency.
Batten down the hatches!
Thankfully, there’s been a swift reaction. IOC representative Kevan Gosper has called for an increase in Government funding; AOC President John Coates has called for compulsory sports programs in schools; the Federal Minister for Sport, Kate Lundy, has called for an inquiry and former Olympian, Susie O’Neill, has been roped in to help lead an official review.
Phew. The wheels are in motion. We’re going to be okay.
In a remarkable show of determination and courage, Australia’s Sally Pearson, above, and Anna Meares, below, win gold.
Imagine if we jumped to attention like this over homelessness or mental health care or kids who sacrifice their childhood to be the primary carers for their invalid parents.
These things don’t merit being on the front page of anything.
But whack on a pair of swimmers and hit the end of a swimming pool 0.01 of a second behind an American and, bang! The nation sends up the emergency flares.
I don’t think I’m alone in being disgusted by this obsession with our supposed Olympic ‘failure’. A bit of perspective wouldn’t go astray.
Better yet, a bit of honesty might be in order.
Three years ago, the Crawford Review suggested we re-think sporting success to mean national participation instead of elite-level gold medals. Apart from the health benefits, team sports can provide a sense of belonging, boost self esteem and encourage happiness. David Crawford, the leader of the review, thought that might be a more worthwhile national achievement than reaching the top five in the 2012 Olympics.
John Coates threw a hissy fit, labelled the report ‘insulting’ to our Olympic athletes and said, “I will leave it to you [David Crawford] to tell… Dean Lukin he’s no longer a hero.” Phew. Thank goodness he didn’t overreact.
Amidst all his hair pulling and gnashing of teeth over the last few years, Mr Coates has forgotten to mention one thing: he’s the chair of the Australian Olympic Foundation which has, wait for it, $100 million dollars sitting in its coffers.
Whoops! Must have slipped his mind.
Sometimes those things happen. You know, you’re sitting around have a cup of tea and you completely forget that what you’re sitting on is actually a dirty, great, fat pile of cash. Perhaps the reason he’s not spending it on training athletes is because he’s saving it for orphans and abandoned puppies.
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