How do you define success at this Olympics?
So what’s the problem? I listened to a bloke on the radio this morning talking about this very thing. Our swimmers, he said, were not performing as well because they’d been allowed by swimming officials to talk themselves up on social media and in the press, creating this huge public perception that we’d pull in a swag of gold in the pool. He went on further to say that the public had lapped it up and as a consequence, the swimmers got caught up in all the hype and made the mistake of believing all their own publicity. And today I read that former Australian Olympic champion Susie O’Neill has waded (sorry!) into the discussion by suggesting that the work ethic in Australian swimming isn’t the same as it was ten years ago. ‘Talent gets you this far in an Olympics, work ethic gets you over the line.’
She may have a point, to a degree. Ten years ago athletes didn’t have Twitter and Facebook and all those sorts of distractions. You’d think there was enough pressure from the public to deal with, without putting more on yourself by constant social media interaction.
But is that really the reason? And do we need one? Perhaps it’s because someone else was better on the night. And instead of looking for excuses why we didn’t come first, maybe we should be more focussed on where we HAVE come. And saying congratulations, that’s freaking awesome, well done, mate.
I want to see more of that – a celebration of an athlete’s achievements in just MAKING the Games (and Channel 9, for the love of God – tell your presenters less talk is MORE and a wider range of nations in the coverage would be nice too, thanks) Just being good enough in your field to qualify makes you pretty awesome in my world. How many people do you know that are former or current Olympic athletes? I personally don’t know any. The closest I’ve ever come to Olympic greatness was seeing the Olympic torch for all of three seconds as it was carried past me before the start of the Sydney 2000 Games.
What do YOU think? How is your country going at these Olympics? And are your commentators as banal and annoying as the ones in Australia are? OMG. It’s sheer torture listening to them. Seriously, I’ve wanted to throw things at the telly.