I have commented on this in earlier posts, as has my fellow blogger in Doohan It This Way. I am referring the amount of poor press that the Australian Olympic team has received from Australian sporting commentators. They have suggested that somehow Australia’s althetes have “failed”, “let their country down”, “disgraced the green and gold” and other terms of derision. As Australia’s “expected” haul of medals is ever decreasing, this criticism has gone into overdrive.
Now I read in The Daily Telegraph of August 4th, 2012, with a headline “Stoush over failures in pool”, that Australia’s swim boss Leigh Nugent has now blamed Australia’s poor performance in the pool as “the nation’s easy life”. When forced to offer an explanation for Australia’s worst swimming performance in 16 years, Nugent could only say “we live in society where people look for the easy way”. He went on the say that “most of our girls, the Aussie girls, are carrying too much weight”. Nugent also stated “We had a team of stars a few years, ago!”
I am personally disgusted that the head of the swim team has had the audacity to utter this absolute drivel. Australia has presented it’s best swimmers for these Games. If somehow they have not performed, it’s because they competed against faster swimmers from the US and China or wherever. There is no disgrace in being beaten at this level of competition. They have NOT failed, they have NOT let their country down and they have NOT disgraced the green and gold. Rather, they have simply done their best, given their all and should be applauded for doing just that.
In other sports, if a team does not win, they sack the coach/manager. Maybe that’s what is needed here!
In an associated story, London 2012 has been referred to as the “Twitter” Games with our athletes being subjected to repetitive and numerous vile and offensive Tweets. Emily Seebohm was particularly targeted for crying after her sliver medal performance in the 100m backstroke. Twitter has been described by a sports counsellor, Matt Bulcher, as “a poisonous medium where people for no reason fire off the most ascerbic barbs” He further suggested to athletes that they “leave Twitter alone”. He also warned athletes that “if you must go on Twitter, you must understand that there will be a lot of hatred directed towards you”.
What are we coming to as a society?