Image: Courtesy, the IPA
Despite warnings in the lead up to the London Games that our athletes would be up against stiff and quality competition and would not do as well as before, the attitude of the press and other commentators has swayed between the frantic, and the histrionic. The athletes who apart from the odd bit of silliness have done us proud, despite the absence of the accustomed haul of gold have been pilloried.
Leisel Jones, who has grown up in front of the nation since competing as a 14 year old in 2000, was slammed by the press who decided she was, fat, a disgrace, unfit to compete at that level, and not taking her role seriously. Her three silver and one bronze medals have quietened them down somewhat. James Magnussen, who was beaten by a fingernail in the men's 100m freestyle, after a neck and neck battle down the final 50 meters, was considered disappointing.
Long jump silver medalist, Michael Watt and some others hit back at the press:
Watt said last night there was "absolutely nothing wrong" with a silver medal. "I was copping questions (from journalists) and the first question I got was: is it a disappointing result?One thing we were all certain of in these uncertain times where profligate government spending is driving us into bigger deficits, was that the Australian Olympic Federation (AOF) would have its hands out for more taxpayers money:
"The team is happy, I'm happy, the head coach is happy. I've got thousands of messages from back home from people saying they are happy. The only people who aren't happy are you guys (the media). You need to wake up.”
[Cate] Campbell, who won a gold medal as part of the 4x100m freestyle team, but did not qualify for the 50m freestyle final, said it was "a bit hurtful when people say we have been underperforming."
I Feel the pain of our Olympic athletes, flopping at the Games. Me, I've got this stabbing feeling, right in my wallet. You wait. Before long, Australian Olympic Federation boss John Coates will come screaming again for more millions of taxpayers' dollars.It looks like Andrew Bolt got the name wrong, but:
He might even say "I told you so", since he's demanded ever since the Beijing Games that we spend $100 million a year more so our athletes could keep over performing. Money should be no object, he told a review of Olympics funding chaired by David Crawford.
Ouch. That stabbing pain again.
AUSTRALIA'S most senior Olympic official has blamed a lack of government funding for the dearth of gold medals in London and declared "money is the difference between silver and gold.”It’s the same old song to the same old tune we are used to, not only from sporting bodies, but from all groups, organizations, bodies, and industries who are assisted or supported by government largesse. Out in the real world though, most would be a bit happier if some of that ‘government focus’ Gosper seems to be pining for, was not directed at us.
Kevan Gosper, Australia's senior representative on the International Olympic Committee, this morning said in a radio interview from London that the Australian team had performed well in the circumstances but had been hamstrung by a lack of public funds and government focus.
"I think there was something wrong with the degree of support that the Australian team got this time round," Mr Gosper told ABC Radio's Jon Faine. "Normally it gets very strong focus from the government. It probably hasn't been as good this time round for whatever reason.