Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Where is your Olympic Spirit?

If there is one thing that has struck me in the first few days of the London 2012 Olympics, it's the way the Australian media is crucifying athletes who don't "perform".

This snippet of a piece on James Magnussen being the favourite for his next race, by staff writers at News Limited, is just one example:
"But that is all under doubt now after he and his teammates bombed in the final of the 4 x 100m relay, finishing a disappointing fourth despite heading into the race as hot favourites."
Sorry, what? When did training hard for years, making the Australian team, qualifying through the heats to make the OLYMPIC FUCKING FINAL and coming fourth constitute bombing out?

These people are the best our country has to offer and yet we're being told they are not good enough. I'm not suggesting they all get participation medals like a school sports carnival where no one is allowed to lose lest our kiddies get upset, I'm suggesting a little credit where credit is due.

And now I'm going to pull the what-is-this-teaching-our-kids card because surely that's what a Mummy Blogger should do. What type of example is this to all the kids watching the Olympics? If you win at the highest level you will be held up as the golden girl/boy of Australia... and if you come second or heaven forbid don't even make the podium, you're "disappointing".

How is promoting the "If you're not first, you're last" and "Second place is the first loser" mentality ever a good thing? 

From these types of statements, which are all over the media right now and being made by the commentary team, am I meant to conclude that anyone who didn't make the final is a loser? That anyone who didn't make the Australian Olympic team is pathetic?

No wonder they're all breaking down this year! They're being told that unless they're perfect, breaking records, weighing the right amount and winning gold IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Give them a break already, last time I checked they were human.

And yet, only a few hours earlier though, the exact same media outlet slammed a US comedian for joking on Twitter that the female Australian swimmers had "amazing cocks". So it's not OK for a comedian to make a joke about our Olympians but it's just fine and dandy for a journalist to crucify them? Double standard, much?

What ever happened to the Olympic Spirit?

Do you find it "disappointing" when someone tries their hardest and doesn't win? Or are you just in awe at the amazing talent of these people?


  1. I think C-bomb was hard done by by the media. Seriously? If I was getting silver and they got me just out of the pool, exhaustedand wishing I was that touch beter? I'd cry. For sure.

    Silver medalists are rarely happy, whereas, bronzies, in the words of fellow novocastrian and somoeone who I drank with when I was 14, Justin Norris said "I'm stoked"

    (admitedly, he was in year twelve and telling me and my friend we were too young for Port)

  2. That post rocks my socks... They are all damned fine athletes and it doesn't matter where they place, or even IF they place, they got there and tried there damned hardest... That is all I ever want my kids to do!

    And OMG poor Emily.. I mean I understand the disappointment for her to feel, but jesus woman, wake up and see just how fucking awesome what you did was and is!!

  3. Love your thoughts on this.I truelly believe making it to the Olympics means that person is an absolute winner no matter what the outcome.x

  4. There's a major double standard happening. The media are allowed to find it disappointing, but when the athletes show their disappointment by crying they're portrayed as emotional wrecks who need to toughen up.

  5. Me too. Read this, you'll like it :) http://www.kellyexeter.com.au/australia-expects-too-much-of-olympians/

  6. When I found out my friend's brother made the team I was so excited despite having NEVER MET HIM. His family is over the moon and some have gone over to watch, not caring what the outcome is at all. To qualify for the team is a HUGE deal in itself.

  7. I have been so disappointed with the media's reporting of this. So disappointed. One of the news websites had a headline along the lines of "Australian swimming's darkest day" and our "greatest swimming disaster ever". For realz?!
    Someone doing a shit in the pool would be a disaster - imagine having to clean that out. Not to mention having to reschedule everything. I wonder what the headlines would say if someone actually DIED?
    It's all a load of crap.
    Someone having a bad race while they have the weight of their country on their shoulders should be able to process their emotions without a camera and microphone shoved in their face and without being called un-Australian if they dare show any emotion.
    And if someone wants to cry at their disappointment in getting a silver medal 5 seconds after getting out of the pool, they should bloody well be allowed to. God knows I have a bit of a cry if I make a cake that flops because I may disappoint my kids in what they thought they were going to get. Imagine having a whole Country's expectations on you!
    I am completely and utterly in awe of anyone who can commit years of their lives to follow their dreams.

  8. I've started watching the Olympics with the sound turned down, just for this reason. I stick the closed captions on, and narrate the sports the the kids like I'm super knowledgeable ;)

    But it lets me say things like "Oh look, the horsey missed the jump. See, everyone makes mistakes, even people very good at their sports, who practiced for ages! Don't worry if you make mistakes too, sometimes..." Very edumakational.

  9. Unless you're up there doing a better job yourself then shut your mouth is my take.
    Maybe if you're putting in the work they are to do what they do you will realise how fucking hard it is and will shut your mouth and celebrate with them just the ability to breathe and the need not to say nasty things about others who are doing bloody extrodinary things!

  10. I'm of the opinion that anyone who makes the Olympics is bloody awesome, no matter where they place. I felt so sorry for Emily when she was so upset over getting silver because she obviously felt a lot of pressure to win. Hopefully she realises that everyone is impressed with her swim, no matter what the colour of her medal is.

    As for Justin Norris, he is running an awesome swim school these days. Seagull and Wombat go there and they love it.

  11. Perfect. My daughter said the other day that perfect is like stagnating, stopping, not doing anything more just sitting around and staring in perfection.
    I love her so much.
    During my childhood, this was huge issue and I am only now, through my much wiser 12 year old, learning to let go of the need, the "I'm never ENOUGH", the agonising strain to be perfect.
    Having drive and ambition is wonderful! Just choose what to aim for, what defines success.

  12. It is very disappointing to watch an Australian Olympian come fourth in a final, it is disappointing to see one not make the final, it's even slightly disappointing to watch them bring home a Silver when they wanted the Gold, but we should most definitely not be disappointed IN the athletes, we should be disappointed FOR the athletes, WITH them. THEY ARE AMAZING NO MATTER WHERE THEY PLACE!!
    Of course we want them to bring home the gold, so it can be disappointing to see them miss out when they've worked so hard.
    What is really disappointing, and disgusting, is how they are being slaughtered, makes me sick.
    They work so bloody hard day in and day out for YEARS!! I'd like to see these "JOURNALISTS" try to do what these athletes do.


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