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Thu, Aug. 2nd, 2012, 01:03 pm
On Australia's performance in the Games

This commenter (called Mouse; no relation) on an article about the backlash against underperforming athletes wins the internet: "It's no wonder the Australians have 'underperformed' at this Olympics; all our best athletes are at home, posting messages on the internet and calling in to talkback radio stations." It made me LOL (I only say that when I literally do laugh out loud--old-school rat); much needed therapy on my lunch break at work.

Thu, Aug. 2nd, 2012 07:35 am (UTC)

Imo, sometimes this gold medal rush gets taken too far. Just as Leigh Nugent said, a silver olympic medal is a hell of an achievement. Any medal, or even a place in the top 10 is worth a lot. Perhaps it won't satisfy someone who's strictly aiming for gold/any other color, but with so many contestants it's a likely occurence.

Some media just seem to be going anal with this, whinging about statistics and medal tables. Stresses out the athletes so much, I imagine, granted that they watch the news at all during the games.

Thu, Aug. 2nd, 2012 08:32 am (UTC)

I prefer silver anyway..it's less gaudy. ;)

Thu, Aug. 2nd, 2012 08:58 am (UTC)

You could win gold in the fox fencing competition :D

Thu, Aug. 2nd, 2012 10:07 am (UTC)

Oh yeah, I agree.

I don't think it's always unjustified to criticize something even though you couldn't do better, obviously, but the sense of entitlement that some people apparently feel when it comes to sports (and especially the olympics) is quite breathtaking. Athletes don't owe anything to anyone (other than good sportsmanship), not even the nation the hail from, and certainly not random unaffiliated people.

I'm sure everyone who participates in the games is doing their best. The idea that it's all about medals, and medals only (and gold medals first and foremost for that matter) is contrary to what the games are about, I think.

Fri, Aug. 3rd, 2012 08:28 am (UTC)

There's a great read about some Olympic stories that go beyond the usual sports themselves over here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/135056

An excerpt:
At the 1936 Berlin Games, Japanese pole vaulters Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Oe tied for second place. The teammates were offered the opportunity to have a jump-off for the silver medal, but the two friends declined out of mutual respect for one another. For the purposes of Olympic records, Oe agreed to the bronze while Nishida took the silver.

Upon their return to Japan, the teammates came up with a different solution. The pair had a jeweler cut their medals in half and fuse them back together, creating half-silver, half-bronze pendants. The “Medals of Friendship,” as they’re now known in Japan, are enduring symbols of friendship and teamwork.

Fri, Aug. 3rd, 2012 09:48 am (UTC)

Wow, that's cool. :) There's not a single person in the world that could rightfully have blamed them for having a jump-off; to not do so anyway and share the medals (literally!) is an amazing testament to their friendship.

The other stories are cool, too — although there's more that they didn't mention, like the story of Hans Günter Winkler and his horse Halla at the 1956 games.

Edited at 2012-08-03 09:49 am (UTC)

Sat, Aug. 4th, 2012 09:30 am (UTC)

I agree completely, but with one proviso: I am told we sink a lot of taxpayers' money into our sporting heroes. That doesn't give us any right to take it out on the athletes, but I think we're entitled to ask if we're getting value for money and if we shouldn't be investing the money in a way that gives us more return (such a national dental scheme, for instance).

Sat, Aug. 4th, 2012 09:38 am (UTC)

Ah, yes, that is true.