I have to apologise for the lack of activity on the site recently. I have been away for the best part of three weeks so have had little opportunity to post anything new.
While I have been out of the country, I have kept a bit of an eye on what is making national news. Sadly something that seems to have had a lot of press is the supposed underperformance and failures of our Olympians. I made a comment about the pathetic media coverage already, but feel I need to expand on it further.
I am not much of a fan of the Olympics. Although it hasn’t had the scandalous revelations of FIFA, the politics of the IOC make it a questionable organisation at best. I also don't feel that the enormous amount of funding that goes (very unevenly) into high performance sport and administration is necessarily a sound investment in the current economic climate.
So yeah, I'm no Olympics fanboy, but that doesn't mean I'm on board with the ridiculously shallow and hysterical public discourse about the failure of our Olympic team. Everyone that earns the chance to represent our country gets my admiration for their hard work and sacrifice. Being beaten by someone who is better on the day is never something an athlete should feel ashamed of. It was particularly disappointing seeing some of our Olympians buying into this nonsense themselves and apologising for their performance. Sure they can be disappointed if they have an off day, but they don’t owe anyone sitting on a couch back home any kind of apology.
There are many wonderful stories of achievement that could be told about these games, but much these uplifting, unique tales have been largely downplayed in favour of an aggregated assessment focused solely on where we come on the medal tally. Who really cares whether we come fifth or tenth? That is actually a meaningless difference.
This kind of focus reinforces the primacy of winning above all else to those watching. Is it any wonder some of our elite athletes (hello Nick Krygios) show less sportsmanship and humility that we might like? Where do they get the idea that they can pretty behave anyway they want as long as they win?