Friday dilemma: thin ice or fair crack at a dope?
You remember Steven Bradbury. He’s the short track speed skater who won gold when all his opponents fell over at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics 10 years and a few weeks ago. Well, this week Bradbury himself tripped up.
At a function to launch the West Coast Eagles AFL season, the former peroxide blond talked about his career as a skater, saying “The only person who would have spent more time on the ice than me was Ben Cousins”.
He has since apologised. Personally, I think it was a great gag. As a guideline, the first rule of satirical humour should always be this: is the target of the humour deserving of mocking? In the case of the kids with cancer so cruelly lampooned by The Chaser, the answer was clearly no. But Ben Cousins? Hmmm.
Hey, no one’s suggesting Cousins doesn’t deserve respect for the way he has openly tackled his drug issues, even if there’s an argument his rehab has been a curious mix of genuine hard work and gratuitous self-publicity.
All the same, the guy is hardly out of bounds. Remember when he evaded police by running and swimming to safety in an event hilariously dubbed the Swan River triathlon? That was funny. Just as Bradbury’s gag was funny.
Anyway, you guys know better than anyone. What say you?
Oh, but before you answer, let me remind you of the following. Steven Bradbury is obviously best known for the extraordinary gold medal in the 1000m in Salt Lake City. Do you need the video? Well do ya? Here you go, then.
That was Australia’s first ever Winter Olympics gold medal, preceding Alisa Camplin’s aerials gold by a matter of hours. A much lesser known aspect of Bradbury’s sporting career is that he won a bronze medal eight years earlier as part of the 5000m relay team at the Nagano games - and nobody fell over.
That medal was Australia’s first ever at the Winter Olympics, and it was achieved by fit, fast athletes.
Yes, Bradbury was once supremely fast as well as supremely lucky. And this week, he was supremely amusing. Or was he?
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