Great Britain has put on a magnificent Olympics with fantastic venues, surprisingly good weather, enthusiastic fans and, touch wood, no serious security breaches or major drug scandals involving big-name athletes.

Just 400m from another glorious whinge

Immediately before the Games, as in the lead-up Sydney 2000, there was much moaning from locals lamenting the cost and inconvenience of it all. As in Sydney, all of that vanished the minute the flame was lit.

The British tabloids have taken predictable swipes at Australia’s lowly standing on the medal table relative to team GB, which was predictable and no more or less than we would have done. But that’s nothing compared to the venom with which Australia has attacked itself during these Games.

No matter what surprise golden moments remain in store for Australia, these Olympics already have their stamp. For Australia, these have been the Olympics of sniping, of infighting, of labelling, and of counter-labelling those who label. It has been a two week squabble, a philosophical shitfight of carbon tax proportions, and none of us have come out of it looking too good.

Overnight, we saw some wonderful moments from Australian athletes. There was that front-running gold in the kayaking by four blokes most people had never heard of, a thrilling bronze from our water polo women against Hungary, and silver in the 10m platform diving from the youngest member of our Olympic team, Brittany Roben. Can anyone else believe the Brittany/Britney generation is suddenly old enough to stand on an Olympic dais?

Ah, but as ever at these Games, the biggest Australian story of the night had a nastier tone. The story concerned the post-race exchange between Channel 9 interviewer Tony Jones and 4x400m relay runner John Steffensen. To be frank, both were as bad as each other.

As many people on social media sites have pointed out, Jones was way out of line in his attempt to pry some controversy out of Steffensen. But Steffensen, too, was up to his usual tricks. He had clearly conceded ground in his leg of the relay, and admitted he didn’t run his best. But he then appeared to lay blame on his team for not performing well either.

So there it was. A microcosm of so much that we’ve seen in the last two weeks. Australians performing below expectations, the media asking questions about that sub-par performance and a bunch of athletes not sure how to deal with their disappointment.

Admittedly, Tony Jones was needlessly belligerent and John Steffensen is, well, John Steffensen. So last night’s little tête-à-tête was a rather extreme example of all that has been ugly for Australia at these games.

All the same, it had a familiar tone, and a tone which was set at the swimming pool a week earlier.

Australia’s swimming campaign can basically be summarised thus: A group of athletes, funded by taxpayers to the tune of $10.5 million a year, didn’t perform as well as expected. Many of these athletes have their walls plastered with slogans like “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” and “second is first loser”. Most of them clearly came to London to win.

With the exception of the women’s 4x100m relay team, they didn’t. As the silvers rolled in, Australian journalists first congratulated our athletes on being second best in the world, then rightly asked whether they were disappointed. Admittedly, on one or two occasions, the question came a little too quickly. But mostly, the question was begging to be asked and was asked in respectful tones.

Indeed, as I write this, a Nine interviewer was telling basketaller Liz Cambage to “hold your head up high” after the Opals were beaten by America.

The media hasn’t been all negative. Yet we have been bagged. A very senior journalist friend of mine from a major national media organisation was chastised by his bosses for daring to ask whether a high-profile silver medallist in another sport was disappointed after having started red hot favourite in his event. Again, the journo had congratulated the athlete first. Was he then not entitled to ask the obvious follow-up question?

Taxpayers will certainly be asking follow-up questions of the AOC after London, as they are perfectly entitled to do.

If you draw the frame really wide, the Olympic Games is an event with dramatically mixed messages. Its official motto “citius, altius, fortius”, which translates as “faster, higher, stronger”, doesn’t leave much room for a celebration of second best.

Yet there are three spots on the podium, and there is also that heavily nuanced, amorphous concept called “Olympic spirit” which welcomes the Eric the Eels and Eddie the Eagles of the world and pretty much anyone who just has a go. All of them receive the lifelong title of “Olympian”.

Australians respect that honorific. We truly admire anyone who has competed at an Olympic Games. We get the hard training and everything else - even if most of us are not so sold on the concept of “sacrifice” while we slog it out doing real jobs.

But if you narrow that frame and bring it in really close, there is something we respect even more than the effort our Olympians put it. It’s people who don’t whinge.

There have been a few too many whingers in London. And while the snipey grandstanding by Nine’s Tony Jones last night was an example of a nasty tone set by the media which has been off the mark, the worst Aussie whinging has come from the Oi! Oi! Oi! thought police both in the stands and on the fields of competition who consider it a crime to ask the tough questions.

Ask yourself this: Sally Pearson gave a quote to the effect that she came to London for one reason, which was to win gold. If she hadn’t won, would it have been fair to ask if she was disappointed?


Whinge at me on Twitter: @antsharwood

Anyway, enough of all this. By popular demand, here’s another chicken pic. Today’s bird is quite appropriately drinking a cup of English Breakfast tea.

That's pure poultry in motion

Most commented

83 comments

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    • iansand says:

      08:54am | 10/08/12

      Sharwood whinging about people being nasty to the meeja.

      Fourth estate issue.

    • Mark says:

      10:39am | 10/08/12

      Interestingly, as someone who is there, I can tell you the biggest complainers are the media themselves. The simple act of being asked to show their accreditation (ID) passes sends them into a huff, the lesson being that you should never inconvenience a journalist, they consider themselves far too important to be bothered by trivial things like security. Luckily, the volunteers who are subjected to the ‘I’ll throw my toys out of the pram and throw myself to the ground’ meltdowns from journalists have perspective and a sense of humour. Maybe instead of focussing on the behaviour of the athletes, we could see whether there is any improvement from journalists in Rio. One can only hope.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      04:11pm | 10/08/12

      Channel 9’s presentation of the Olympics certainly hasn’t even merited a Bronze. They’ve had me spewing like Shorten in a Pie shop.

      Let’s face it, the media set their Stall out to sell ‘we hate Aussie athletes’ before our Aussie athletes even assembled in London. Persecutions took place for youthful high jinx.

      But what I loath the most is the aftermath childish behaviour summed up   as “well who wants Olympics anyway its crap.” We didn’t think that during our Sydney Olympics, the country was rightfully filling with Southern cross and the green and gold.

      Lossing well is as important as winning well.

    • Mike says:

      05:15pm | 12/08/12

      Correct Mark, and it isn’t isolated to just the Olympics; try any of the Australian motorsport events with some of the Corporate Box pass holders, who think it is either beyond them, a great joke or to hurl abuse at you as to “why” you are asking them nicely for their ID before they can access a tent and that somehow, a few seconds of minor inconvenience will severely curtail their drinking time….or asking them equally nicely to please not walk somewhere (in case they get run over by one of the service vehicles) and getting the same.

    • Tolerant Jungle says:

      09:08am | 10/08/12

      Anthony, I disagree, I don’t think It’s not OK to ask an athlete within seconds of finishing the competition they have been training at least 4 years for if they are disappointed they didn’t come second. You provide my main point in your last paragraph. We know the goal for these guys has always been to win gold. Doesn’t that make the question “are you disappointed” a little pointless? We as the Australian public don’t want to focus on what is an obvious point to make, rather,  celebrate a 2nd, 3rd or even as you say, the fact they are an Olympian. Admittedly this is an extreme example but its like asking someone if their friend has just died, there is an obvious answer, so obvious it doesn’t need to be asked.

    • Tolerant Jungle says:

      09:21am | 10/08/12

      Edit: Was meant to say ” Admittedly this is an extreme example but its like asking someone if they are upset that their friend has just died” I tried to stop it from going through as i decided it was a little extreme….. please see below comment instead (how do you get these removed?)

    • Testfest says:

      10:33am | 10/08/12

      @Tolerant Jungle

      Couldn’t agree more. It’s a stupid question that doesn’t deserve an answer.

      When did the media become so hell bent on asking such god-awful questions? Like all the interviews with people who have lost a loved one and then some reporter ALWAYS asks: “How do you feel?”

      Their loved one just died. How do you f**king think they feel? Vultures and ghouls, the lot of you…

    • Kev says:

      12:02pm | 10/08/12

      Not only do the media like asking questions with stupidly obvious answers but if the athlete speaks his or her mind the media latch onto it like a leech and then proceed to attack them for being being a prima donna. I’ve never understood the desire to shove a microphone into the face of an athlete immediately after their event. If they’ve lost what do you expect their reaction to be? Joyful?

    • TwinCinema says:

      11:04am | 11/08/12

      Just because tax payer’s money was used to help the athletes we are therefore entitled to ask questions when they don’t win? Sorry, how about the fact that they are the best in these sports our country has, they have worked harder than many of us will in our entire lives to even be at the Olympics, and in the process provided us with hours of entertainment.

    • Suzanne says:

      09:11am | 10/08/12

      They are keeping drug samples for 8 years, so that should be interesting

    • Tango says:

      10:15am | 10/08/12

      Why would you keep drug samples? You mean blood samples, don’t you? And you demonstrate the cynical and negative attitude that continues to make Australia the great country it isn’t.

    • Matt says:

      09:13am | 10/08/12

      Um, from what I’ve seen, you’ve been one of the biggest culprits of this Ant.  Every single article you’ve written has been a bitch/moan about the Australian Olympic team!

    • Andrew says:

      09:54am | 10/08/12

      Totally agree. Does Anthony even like the Olympics?

    • Andrew says:

      09:55am | 10/08/12

      Totally agree. Does Anthony even like the Olympics?

    • Tango says:

      10:17am | 10/08/12

      Consistency is a good thing, yes?

    • iansand says:

      11:42am | 10/08/12

      Sharwood whinging again.

      A tip to Ant:  At the bottom of a hole you know what not to do.

    • Austin 3:16 says:

      12:53pm | 10/08/12

      Fair enough Ant you’ve put in an ok effort but not quote gold medal stuff.

      Tell me are you disappointed ?

    • Badjack says:

      12:56pm | 10/08/12

      Ants reply just reinforces my opinion that journalists cannot handle being critiqued let alone being criticised.

    • Toady says:

      01:42pm | 10/08/12

      Badjack,  he’s not allowed respond to the accuser and present facts to prove him wrong?  You’ve gotta love the arrogance of the average Puncher.

    • Master says:

      01:45pm | 10/08/12

      Ant, positive or negative your Olympics articles have been utter trash and it’s a shame of the highest degree you don’t write for print media as your articles would serve best as toilet paper. I’m not wasting my ink on your drivel though.

    • Janosz Doblewiecza says:

      09:17am | 10/08/12

      Like me, everyone I talk to is full of admiration and respect for all our athletes, whether they win gold, silver or wooden spoon.  We all like to see Australia do well but let’s not have cheap shots at our athletes.  Let’s look at our infantile media, particularly television, whose general idea of sport most of the time is AFL or NRL. What’s going to encourage a young kid to pick up a hockey stick if they never see it on television, or to take up hurdling or water polo?  Kids get enthused by watching sport on television but sadly they are fed a diet saturated with AFL and NRL, neither of which are in the olympics.

    • Janosz Doblewiecza says:

      09:17am | 10/08/12

      Like me, everyone I talk to is full of admiration and respect for all our athletes, whether they win gold, silver or wooden spoon.  We all like to see Australia do well but let’s not have cheap shots at our athletes.  Let’s look at our infantile media, particularly television, whose general idea of sport most of the time is AFL or NRL. What’s going to encourage a young kid to pick up a hockey stick if they never see it on television, or to take up hurdling or water polo?  Kids get enthused by watching sport on television but sadly they are fed a diet saturated with AFL and NRL, neither of which are in the olympics.

    • MattyC says:

      09:28am | 10/08/12

      Yawn, Sports media professionals thinking they are as important as the atheletes they cover.

      See it everyday in Melbourne over winter.

    • Jack says:

      11:45am | 10/08/12

      ‘Sports media professionals’ are *precisely* as important as the athletes they cover.

      Zero.

    • Tracey says:

      01:44pm | 10/08/12

      Well said Jack. Over $10million of taxpayer money that could be so much better invested in something much more important than sport, let’s just suggest a cur for cancer as a starting point.

    • Tracey says:

      01:44pm | 10/08/12

      Well said Jack. Over $10million of taxpayer money that could be so much better invested in something much more important than sport, let’s just suggest a cur for cancer as a starting point.

    • Tracey says:

      01:44pm | 10/08/12

      Well said Jack. Over $10million of taxpayer money that could be so much better invested in something much more important than sport, let’s just suggest a cur for cancer as a starting point.

    • Tracey says:

      01:44pm | 10/08/12

      Well said Jack. Over $10million of taxpayer money that could be so much better invested in something much more important than sport, let’s just suggest a cur for cancer as a starting point.

    • Tracey says:

      01:44pm | 10/08/12

      Well said Jack. Over $10million of taxpayer money that could be so much better invested in something much more important than sport, let’s just suggest a cur for cancer as a starting point.

    • Badjack says:

      09:35am | 10/08/12

      Ant, with regard to your opinion that journalists have a right to ask the “disappointment"question. Sure they have the right to, but the public have a right to bag the media for the dumb questions they ask. The problem when they do the media get all defensive and self righteous and sooky. Flaky and egg shells would be a good way to describe many in the media when they have been critiqued.

    • Dave says:

      09:49am | 10/08/12

      When they are funded by taxpayers to the tune of $10.5 million, it is alright to ask them questions.

    • Jason says:

      10:21am | 10/08/12

      Indeed.  Ultimately most of these people are professional athletes these days, and part of that profession is being asked awkward questions if you don’t perform.  Particularly if you’ve spent the last couple of years telling the media that you were going to win (and in some cases win easily).

      Ultimately though, it’s looking like this is going to be Australia’s worst result since Barcelona in 1992 (and that’s even assuming we can win one more gold).  So keeping in mind this is likely to be our worst result in 20 years at an olympics, I think it’s fair that some questions are asked about what’s gone wrong.

    • Mat says:

      02:19pm | 10/08/12

      They may be professional athletes, but so are their competitors.

    • Jason says:

      04:12pm | 10/08/12

      What’s your point Mat?

      My comment was about the fact that they’re professional athletes now and part of being a professional athlete is being asked awkward questions if you don’t perform, much like any other profession.  I’m not sure how their competitors are professional changes that.  In fact I’d bet the same sort of thing happens to them.  Can you imagine the questions that would be asked of the ‘dream team’ players if they didn’t win a game?

      If you’re going to take the cash from taxpayers, sponsors and prize money, and particularly if you’re going mouth of to the press beforehand with quotes like “brace yourself” “I will bring back the gold” I think I can win at 90%”, then you also need to face up to the realities of being a modern professional athlete if you don’t follow through and back up your words.

    • Michael S says:

      09:52am | 10/08/12

      Tony Jones was clearly trying to get a bite out of Steffensen in that interview, while the rest of the team stood by and were ignored by Jones.
      Why call a whole team over for an interview if you’re only interested in interviewing one of them? He did the same with the South Africans, when Pistorius was the only one he was speaking to - saying to Pistorius that at least he got a run in the individual event; while his relay team-mates stood by, un-interviewed and they didn’t get a run in the individuals.

      Very poor interviewing by Tony Jones last night.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:39pm | 10/08/12

      He baited Steffensen ,and Steffensen being who he is took the bait….Also noticed Steffensen went nowhere near the young runner after the event..sour grapes maybe? I think Steffensen has probably run his last race.

    • sandra says:

      11:52am | 12/08/12

      I would love Jones ot have asked Steffensen what he thought of the two black Aussie runners in the relay final Australian team????He bellowed all over the media that OZ selectors were racist—well—Hello—they picked runners who could actually run fast regardless of color plus they had great attitude. !!!

    • Gladys says:

      09:54am | 10/08/12

      Pure poultry in motion. Ha ha. Very funny.

    • Allison says:

      09:54am | 10/08/12

      This sounds like a whinge about people whingeing about journalists.  There is a difference between asking people ‘are you happy with the result you got tonight?’ and ‘are you disappointed?’.  I remember years ago when someone got 5th in a swimming race, shaved a good deal of time off their personal best and the journalist said ‘are you disappointed?’.  He said: “no way!  I’ve just shaved X time off my personal best, I’m totally happy!”.  Saying that asking about disappointment after congratulating the athletes is like the ‘sh*t sandwich” feedback method.  Tell them something they did great, tell them the negative feedback, finish off with something they did great.  These people sacrifice so much more than you and I do in our so called ‘real jobs’ as you put it.

    • toribooster says:

      10:00am | 10/08/12

      Seems a rather silly question to me.  The athletes go there to win, although after these games with the swim team I am not sure.  However, for the genuine athletes I am sure they are disappointed they have not won gold.  After all, that is what the Games are all about, bring home gold for your country.

    • bretto80 says:

      10:00am | 10/08/12

      ‘The Whinger Games.’ Yes and Anthony you are one of the biggest culprits. You’ve got an awful memory or a split personality, mate. Go back and read your Magnussen rant and then the rest of the drivel that you penned in the week or so following. 

      Let’s see a positive spin on the games from you in the next few days. It would be refreshing.

    • Susan says:

      04:39pm | 10/08/12

      I have felt the same but Anthony has said some positives - without sarcasm - more recently.  However, the “we ask the hard questions” is really gilding the lily in this case.

      Don’t even continue to defend your colleagues Ant given this:

      http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/lisa-wilkinsons-olympic-bloopers/story-e6frewz0-1226447152456

      The 9 media have acted in a totally shambolic manner.  As to the comments about “disappointed”.  You must be seeing different vision from many of us if you are hearing on most occasions the commentator talking the race through first.

      However, that’s not really the point, the phrases “are you disappointed”, or “you must be gutted” are been heard ad nauseum.

      You seem to be often referring to senior people you know and I am sure that many are scrabbling to rationalise the mess they have largely made of this event.  That’s to be expected.

      A mature and reasoned acceptance that much of the broadcast has been a dog’s dinner in terms of best practice broadcast standards, might be received far better at this point.  And that’s not me saying it…it is 100’s upon 100’s currently posting in social media.

    • Mike says:

      07:52pm | 11/08/12

      Too right Bretto80, and when Australia started to misfire, the post mortems ran thick and fast every day.

      Made a change from Anthony (and the media’s) constant sniping towards “anything British”, except his one story about “when the hate stopped”, which was actually quite an ironic title.

      Thank God it is almost over for another four years.

    • Bec says:

      10:08am | 10/08/12

      Olympic coverage in a nutshell -

      Gold medal: Congratulations, you’re a national hero! You’re more brave and valiant than any other Australian ever! I want to have your babies!
      Silver medal: Prepare for a shitstorm of outrage and disappointment. 
      Bronze medal: .... *crickets chirping*

    • Winter says:

      10:39am | 10/08/12

      funny!

    • Sync says:

      01:04pm | 10/08/12

      Channel Nine’s coverage has been massively disapointing in general. Only offering “coverage” during the night, when it IS live and most of us are in bed; keep their regular daytime programming so we can’t watch even highlights during the day; coverage (what I’ve seen of it) consists mainly of short grabs between commentator segments and commercial breaks. One thing is sure - if Nine gets the rights for the next Olympics, I’m getting FOXTEL.

    • Blind Freddy says:

      10:15am | 10/08/12

      The only whinging I have heard/read was from/within the media, with The Punch (and particularly this author) amongst the whiniest.

      Everyone else is just getting about their business with realistic expectations of what a country the population and economy of Australia can achieve.

    • Chippsy says:

      10:16am | 10/08/12

      Australia represents just 0.3 % of the worlds population and so far in these games we have won 2.52%, 5.46% and 4.2% of the Gold’s, Silver’s and Bronze on offer.

      The only whining that I’ve heard has been from the media. Every person I have spoken to is proud of our athletes no matter where they finish. And while we are at it that goes for out neighbours across the ditch too who have been treated pretty unfairly by the Australian media.

    • Jack says:

      12:09pm | 10/08/12

      While we may only make a small percentage of the world by population, we are heavily overrepresented in apostrophe count.

    • antman says:

      03:45pm | 10/08/12

      Well said, Jack, old bean.

    • Chippsy says:

      10:16am | 10/08/12

      Australia represents just 0.3 % of the worlds population and so far in these games we have won 2.52%, 5.46% and 4.2% of the Gold’s, Silver’s and Bronze on offer.

      The only whining that I’ve heard has been from the media. Every person I have spoken to is proud of our athletes no matter where they finish. And while we are at it that goes for out neighbours across the ditch too who have been treated pretty unfairly by the Australian media.

    • Gareth says:

      10:51am | 10/08/12

      A fair point comparing it per capita. However, would love to see those figures again adjusted for public/tax-payer funding used per medal. Let’s all move to Grenada.

    • Gareth says:

      10:52am | 10/08/12

      A fair point comparing it per capita. However, would love to see those figures again adjusted for public/tax-payer funding used per medal. Let’s all move to Grenada.

    • Blind Freddy says:

      02:35pm | 10/08/12

      Per capita measurements aren’t all they are made out to be. Countries are limited in the number of athletes that can represent their country in each event. If the Chinese/US and Russians etc. were able to put all of their qualifiers into all events we would not do nearly as well.

    • Jason says:

      04:29pm | 10/08/12

      Population count isn’t really a good measure either, unless you’re desperately wondering why India, Indonesia and Pakistan aren’t number 2, 4 and 6 on the table instead of 48th, 53rd and equal dead last.

      Kazakhstan must really be punching above their weight.  We’ve got 5 million more people than them but we’re only 1 spot above them on the table….

      Ultimately it’s probably a combination of GDP/prosperity, funding, population, and sporting culture.

      I’m proud of our athletes, particularly the ones who perform PB’s and come from nowhere to score a medal (not so much the ones who talked the talk to the media beforehand and then failed to walk the walk).  The cold fact though is that we’re looking at our worst olympic result in 20 years, and a very large decline from Beijing.  I don’t think it’s out of place to maybe ask what we’re suddenly doing wrong, or what our competitors are doing better that we can emulate.

    • Trip says:

      10:49am | 10/08/12

      Maybe the real issue is that they have silver and bronze medals. Perhaps they should move to a system where you have the winner and that’s it. No-one cares about or remembers who came second or third, except the athletes themselves. And they would probably prefer not to remember.

      And as for the play-offs for bronze in various team events, what’s that about? You have just lost a match in a nail biting finish in extra time and then you have to play another match to determine who makes up the numbers?

      They need to re-define the term ‘win’. You win an event and they give you a gold medal and a posy. You finish anywhere else other than first and you don’t win anything.  No such thing as ‘winning’ silver or bronze.

      I’m not calling the competitors who don’t win an event losers, just not winners. To win something is to come first.

      Or, maybe they should give a medal of some colour to every finalist.

      For me, the biggest winners are the blade runner guy and the women from Arab nations. You think athletes with all their limbs and athletes from Australia, the US, the UK, Germany etc make sacrifices. The blade runner guy and the women from Arab countries have had to fight harder, overcome more obstacles and endure more opposition just to get to the Games than pretty much anyone else. It takes guts to achieve what they have. Too many Australian competitors have demonstrated a distinct lack of that attribute. 

      Maybe the Australian competitors who came to the Games full of themselves and failed to perform at their best should think about that instead of ponying around at parties or spending their time tweeting.

      I don’t think that guy from an African country who came last by minutes in one of the rowing events, while still beating his personal best by a long way, complained about decisions by officials about whether they could shack up with their partner or whether they should carry the flag or whether they should be allowed to compete in a particular event.

    • HappyG says:

      01:09pm | 10/08/12

      @Trip. Great post.

      “Maybe the Australian competitors who came to the Games full of themselves and failed to perform at their best should think about that instead of ponying around at parties or spending their time tweeting”.

      Particularly relevant to precious little Steph Rice who appears to be better at partying and tarting than swimming. She makes me retch.

    • Jack says:

      01:28pm | 10/08/12

      Look, I would love to push Stephanie Rice down a set of stairs, but she has finished her events - why the hell shouldn’t she have a few drinks and whatever else?  What, should she be back in training?

      Also, ‘tarting’? Nice work, Grandpa.

    • Mike says:

      07:48pm | 11/08/12

      Hear Hear, Trip.  Well put.

    • Jeff says:

      10:57am | 10/08/12

      I don’t see why interviewers need ask leading questions, especially negative ones like “are you disappointed?”, even if it does appear to be rhetorical. How about “How do you feel about the race?”. Why jump in to the questions that reflect the media’s sentiments (let’s face it, gold medals are better for ratings than silver)? I guess we have come to expect this from the media. They only ask the questions in a way to raise the answers they want to hear. Sensationalism sells.

    • thatmosis says:

      11:07am | 10/08/12

      I’m not whinging but then again I really don’t give a damn about the games or who’s up who and who’s paying the rent. Every time something comes on TV or the radio about the games its quickly either turned off or the channel changed. I’ve caught up on a lot of reading and seen the movie I’ve been saving for this moment and alls good with the world and better yet this crap is almost finished for another 4 years, yeah, life will return to normal and most people wont remember to much about what happened anyway.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      11:14am | 10/08/12

      These games have been totally crap. Tanking in the Badminton, tanking in the basketball from the Russians and Spain. Cyclists crashing to get a restart, a Chinese swimmer whose result is so dodgy that performance enhancing substances immediately comes to mind. The Olympics isn’t about sport anymore, it is a international wankfest.

    • B says:

      11:31am | 10/08/12

      Can you say Derrrrr… of course they would be disappointed. What a stupid, pointless question. Surely there are more interesting questions you could ask? Actually, if I’m being honest, I don’t really care what they have to say after their race at all. It’s as interesting as the interviews after the Footy match.

    • Hell No Kitteh says:

      02:43pm | 10/08/12

      Agreed. I would rather watch more action and have no interviews!

    • Gratuitous Adviser says:

      11:32am | 10/08/12

      “For Australia, these have been the Olympics of sniping, of infighting, of labelling, and of counter-labelling those who label. It has been a two week squabble, a philosophical shitfight of carbon tax proportions, and none of us have come out of it looking too good.”

      The media and the media alone get the Gold medal for this one.  I cringe for the athletes and officials every time some smarty interviewer tries to goad them into saying something controversial. 

      The calling of the events itself has been very good but after that the bad smell of the in-depth interview appears.  Bring back Norman May.

    • Gratuitous Adviser says:

      11:33am | 10/08/12

      “For Australia, these have been the Olympics of sniping, of infighting, of labelling, and of counter-labelling those who label. It has been a two week squabble, a philosophical shitfight of carbon tax proportions, and none of us have come out of it looking too good.”

      The media and the media alone get the Gold medal for this one.  I cringe for the athletes and officials every time some smarty interviewer tries to goad them into saying something controversial. 

      The calling of the events itself has been very good but after that the bad smell of the in-depth interview appears.  Bring back Norman May.

    • Traxster says:

      11:51am | 10/08/12

      Good ole Norman May…...........
      Aaahhh thems were the days !!......‘eh ??

    • john says:

      11:33am | 10/08/12

      Well said mate. Great article.

    • amy says:

      11:35am | 10/08/12

      who cares if Australia is winning or not?

      I was watching the rythmic gymnastics last night and its amazing what they can do, I didn’t care if they were Australian or Korean or whatever….

    • Aussie Supporter says:

      11:56am | 10/08/12

      You know what, I’m just gonna say it. I’m proud of our Olympians - every country should be - and to all the people saying “We’re ONLY coming second” or “We ONLY got the bronze / silver”  When was the last time you were second or third best at anything in the world?
      How about showing some damn team spirit and supporting our Olympic team instead of whinging.

    • Gordon says:

      12:27pm | 10/08/12

      Journos 2nd guess athletes, blog posters 2nd guess journos. Doing other people’s jobs is such fun!

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      03:00pm | 10/08/12

      Only if I get paid for it…...

    • SAm says:

      12:57pm | 10/08/12

      The questions being asked to athletes still catching their breathes are loaded questions. They imply dissapointment by even mentioning the word. This is both poor journalism (no bias?) and poor sportsmanship.
      Ant this is now the 3rd of 3 articles of yours ive read where your happy to bag silver medal athletes, at the same time justify no talent hack journalistic writing. not cool man.

    • Colin says:

      01:08pm | 10/08/12

      Olympics? Pointless.

      Olympics journalism? Even less relevant.

    • Al says:

      01:23pm | 10/08/12

      SAm - I’m still waiting for an athelete who comes in second who when asked “Are you disapointed” replies with a “Hell no, why don’t you go jump of a cliff, I worked hard for this!”
      (Probably not good from a PR POV but it would make hillarious viewing and would be up on YouTube in minutes).

    • iansand says:

      01:47pm | 10/08/12

      Exhibit 1 - Steven Solomon.

    • BruceS says:

      01:33pm | 10/08/12

      Let us not be shy, Steffensen is a very vocal racist who was begging to be debriefed.

    • BruceS says:

      01:34pm | 10/08/12

      Let us not be shy, Steffensen is a very vocal racist who was begging to be debriefed.

    • Well done son (and daughter) says:

      02:10pm | 10/08/12

      If the Wallabies had an average 2 year stint then had an inspirational run to make the World Cup final before losing to NZ, the loss could conceivably be a very positive result when taken in context.  Unless you’re just not going to accept losing to NZ of course.  Seriously though, it’s about the context and it applies to the Olympics as much as any other sport.  People we don’t know from our own country are coming top 3 in the world - top 10, top 50, or 100 for that matter.  Factoring in the world’s population we should be celebrating every one of them.  Except John Steffensen who we should both admire for his athletic ability and despise for being an absolute knob.  He doesn’t need any help from the media with this one.

    • dexxter says:

      03:04pm | 10/08/12

      The most inspirational athletes were those who did what they were there to do, and who in many cases we had not heard of to any degree before the games eg our canoeists, the young diver from Qld. That for me is the highlight, not the wannabees, hasbeens or those whose mouths and egos are much bigger than their ability.

    • dexxter says:

      03:05pm | 10/08/12

      The most inspirational athletes were those who did what they were there to do, and who in many cases we had not heard of to any degree before the games eg our canoeists, the young diver from Qld. That for me is the highlight, not the wannabees, hasbeens or those whose mouths and egos are much bigger than their ability.

    • Oi Oi Oi says:

      04:08pm | 10/08/12

      I saw nothing wrong with Tony Jones questions considering Steffensen opened the door with his comments earlier and kudos to Steffo for standing there and answering the questions.
      The problem as i see it are people like Anthony Sharwood who do a beat up on what took place and make mountains out of mole hills.

 

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