Last week, when I arrived at my part time job as a swim school teacher, I was greeted with an overwhelming amount of eagerness from the children whom I teach to jump in the pool and start their class.

White men can jump… and make kids want to do it too. Pic: AFP

Usually, it would be my job to encourage them that the water is warm and that it’s not going to be hard today, but this time was different. They needed no motivation at all.

Last night, it was reported that long jump silver medallist Mitchell Watt was slamming the media for their primarily negative coverage of the Olympic Games, saying: “The only people that are not happy are you guys. So you need to wake up.”

By the kids’ sudden enthusiasm to be at their swimming lessons, it would seem that he’s right.

Watt was fed up with Australian journalists’ discouraging attitude and the tedious obsession with gold medals. In particular, the distorted view that you either win gold or give up completely.

But despite the frequently negative spin that the Australian media has put on our Olympic performances, the kids at the pool revealed a more mature and good-sported nature in regards to Australia’s achievements than most of the adults with whom I have spoken.

Seeing their eyes light up when asked if they had been watching the Games was refreshing to say the least, as they told me how much they loved Steph Rice and Christian Sprenger and how they would all for sure become Olympians one day.

The tax debate surrounding Olympic funding is legitimate and controversial, but if Aussie athletes are continuing to inspire young kids with their achievements, regardless of whether you think that they’ve succeeded or not, that in itself is a grand success.

Anything that can get kids moving in a time when so many are constantly glued to their television screens and computer games, especially during an obesity crisis, should be credited far more than it has been. Because if they grow up with the idea that you must be number one or nothing at all, what kind of a message is that sending? How could they possibly be gracious in defeat or learn to be a good sport, when the media labels an athlete as a hero or “just another silver medallist”?

It’s a relief to see that they are reacting to the Olympics actively, not submitting to the negative commentary that they hear, but being inspired by Australia’s achievements.

So let’s stop asking what’s wrong with our athletes, and leading off an interview with “You must be so disappointed,” and take a look at the way that so many kids are responding to Australia’s accomplishments in London. I’ve never seen so much effort put in to swimming lessons than I have in the past week – and the kids will not shut up about the Olympics.

If that’s not enough for you, then try to explain our apparent “failures” to a very revealing table, which discloses that Australia is the fourth largest country to be punching above their weight – with 10 per cent of our athletes having won a medal already (Behind China – 19%, USA – 16% and Romania – 14%).

You may be uninformed enough to think that Australia is a bunch of chokers and losers at these Games and that the only victory is a gold medal, but Watt’s candid words are a reflection of the effects that harsh media comments may have on athletes. And with that in mind, let’s remember that it’s not over yet, and there are plenty of successes that have come out of these Games already – in and out of the sporting arenas.

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    • John says:

      11:34am | 06/08/12

      There’s two kinds of silver medal at the Olympics.

      There’s the Mitchell Watt kind, where the athlete does unexpectedly well and finishes second to the person who was always going to win it. That is the good kind of silver.

      And there’s the James Magnussen kind, where the athlete is expected to win but gets beaten.  That is the bad kind of silver.  If they have boasted that they are a lay down misere to win, then it’s extra bad.

    • Robert says:

      11:42am | 06/08/12

      True, but either way the kids who are watching are obviously proud no matter what

    • Tim says:

      11:59am | 06/08/12

      Um,
      Mitchell Watt was the favourite for the event and performed below expectations. Greg Rutherford was second or third favourite.

      Watt was exactly the same as Magnussen.

    • Jamie says:

      12:41pm | 06/08/12

      Um, Tim, so what? As if these guys owe something to wannabes such as sport journalists who would choke in a game of Scrabble. People who are upset at our athletes getting silver are often the same people who live extraordinarily mediocre lives themselves, always looking to be pumped up by someone else’s success.

      Aussies need to get a grip, were NOT THAT GOOD. Get over it.

    • AdamC says:

      12:52pm | 06/08/12

      John, Tim is right. Watt is another disappointment who choked on the day.  Aside from that, I agree with you.

    • John says:

      01:10pm | 06/08/12

      OK, Watt is a bad example. But the principle is correct.

    • Tim says:

      01:17pm | 06/08/12

      Jamie,
      I was just pointing out that the example was a bad one although I do agree with the point being made.

    • Jamie says:

      04:02pm | 06/08/12

      OK Tim point taken. But do we have to bag people who get silver medals simply because they didn’t come up to our expectations? I imagine this childish tantrum some Aussies are having will turn many away from representing the country, and from aussie wannabe sports stars who think every time an Aussie doesn’t win they choked. Some people need to grow up and get a life.

    • john says:

      04:09pm | 06/08/12

      @ John says: “There’s two kinds of silver medal at the Olympics.”

      Yep the second silver is one for slapping across the face for arrogance and implied expectation that created complacency that your going to win.

      The other sliver medals were for tweeting, unapologetic display of obesity for an elite event, poor sportsmanship and getting beaten by better sports persons who are not spoilt brats to think they can use taxpayer funded money to then go on a holiday.

      I think even a silver was generous, should have been bronze or nothing.

      An attitude adjustment was well over due, try again in 4 years, so I can stomach watching the games once again, hopefully with better adjusted sports persons.

    • Kim says:

      05:30pm | 06/08/12

      AdamC, the word choke is overused. He didn’t choke as he was never in it, and his favoritism was highly overstated.

    • Disappointed. says:

      06:38pm | 07/08/12

      Most Aussies would agree that if you gave it your BEST, there is nothing more that can be asked. What we’ve seen at these games, is a whole lot of people’s second-best efforts. Half-naked swimsuit pics, idiotic tweeting, stupid boastful nicknames and far too many hamburgers consumed is all we got from our swimmers in the lead up to these games. Of those competitors that did take it seriously (Michael Diamond & the Rowing Team), we see a bunch of people consistently missing that last 2%. Not just once or twice, but across the board. That comes down to guts, determination and psychology. We’ve just become soft. We’ve lost that will to give that extra 2% required to win. If your footy team loses by a goal EVERY week, they’re the worst team in the comp.

    • Mr. Jordon says:

      11:35am | 06/08/12

      Our media needs to get a grip.

      Mitchell Watt gets asked is he disappointed by getting silver. Whereas, Yohan Blake was asked by channel 9 was he proud for getting silver in the 100m.

      Says it all really.

    • Lapun says:

      12:14pm | 06/08/12

      Absolutely agree!  And neither Mitchell Watt nor Magnussen deserve the criticism the media want to hand out.  Watt conducted himself beautifully in his interview and really said it like it is.
      Do the media for one moment think that all the other athletes attending these games do not have similar hopes and aspirations.  They’re all trying their damndest and only few ever achive the honour of a Bronze or Silver.

    • Bec says:

      01:20pm | 06/08/12

      Perhaps Aussie schools should adopt a new grading system, whereby students are awarded either an A+ or a fail. That should teach them how achievements are valued here.

    • Hugo says:

      05:42pm | 06/08/12

      Agree but also only 1 A+ is allowed per 22 million!

    • KH says:

      11:47am | 06/08/12

      Silvers and Bronzes are applauded, and are generally taken well by most people, and that includes the media.  But given the millions and millions spent on sport in this country, I think the tax payers and the media have the right to raise questions over the lack of gold ones - it does seem a little bit unbelievable that we don’t have one athlete of sufficient quality that they can win an individual gold medal (so far - there are still possibilities, but they are getting less every day).  This is a legitimate question given its our money that is supply the world class training facilities, and other countries used some of our coaching facilities for success (namely China).

      I think it is right to question athletes use of social media for hours every night instead of sleeping, being convinced they have already won when they haven’t.  Some of them so much as admitted it.  Its right to question the committment of a ‘team’ that doesn’t show up to support its own members - it was noticeable around the pool that half of our team weren’t there to support their team mates, apparently all too busy thinking of themselves to be bothered - apparently half the team were out partying when some of their team mates still had races left.  ‘Team GB’ has been successful because of the team attitude - its something we lost this time around.  Arrogance replaced confidence - maybe this massive wake up call will get things back on track.

    • Carolyn says:

      03:06pm | 06/08/12

      @KH

      “it does seem a little bit unbelievable that we don’t have one athlete of sufficient quality that they can win an individual gold medal (so far - there are still possibilities, but they are getting less every day)”.

      We probably do have one of sufficient quality - it’s just that there are other athletes from other countries who have athletes of sufficient quality - or better. Maybe Australia is not the “be all and end all” when it comes to sport. It doesn’t mean our athletes are of poor quality. It may simply mean that other nations’ athletes have become better.

    • Drama Queen says:

      04:45pm | 06/08/12

      Maybe the AIS is full of has-been coaches who live on high wages in a protected industry.

    • Meh says:

      12:01pm | 06/08/12

      I have no issues with our olypians winning Silver, good on then for doing so well, BUT…...

      We are behind NZ on the Medal Tally! It’s a bl**dy disgrace, and you just know them Kiwi’s will not let us forget it.

      Second heh bro, just like the order of who invented the Pav.

      I don’t think they will care when we point out the paddlers practiced in order to reach OZ, they will insist the 1st be pronounced Furst and give us Russell Crowe back until the next olympics!!!

    • Kaff says:

      12:15pm | 06/08/12

      Yep, it’s not so much the fact we’ve won 20 medals (last I looked) and only one gold; it’s the fact that we’re behind New Zealand, Kazakstan and North Korea on the medal tally that gets me riled.

    • Andrew N says:

      12:43pm | 06/08/12

      Dude, the Kiwis have been laughing at us since we had Julia Gillard as PM. We use to have the upper hand with the sheep jokes but we can’t beat having an incompetent liar with Alfred E Neuman as a partner. Live with it. NZ like China have made us their BITCH!

    • Geezer says:

      08:31pm | 06/08/12

      Medal counts come and go, but they’ll always be kiwi and there’s nothin’ choice about that bro…

    • chuck says:

      12:17pm | 06/08/12

      I reckon we should get Borat as our AOC chief and team psychologist.

      Amazes me how someone like Phelps can front up and have a go (and do well) in so many events when our media lauded prima donnas can hardly make it to the venue for a single event not withstanding those that are team oriented and not our for their own personal glory and endorsement rewards.

    • The Free says:

      12:17pm | 06/08/12

      I think we spent a mint of taxpayers hard earned money on the Olympics and I feel for all the people who gave up on their dreams to become are hardworking shafted taxpayers, only to watch the money get an ROI that isn’t satisfactory.

      At least our Australasian medal tally is okay wink

    • stephen says:

      12:23pm | 06/08/12

      We have been out prepared, out coached and out raced.  No lack of ticker or talent or fortitude.

      Look at the track for example.  Cyclones were wiping the floor in World Champs.  Brits have chosen to peak at exactly the right time and are mentally ON.

      The winner of the ladies Triathlon was coached by an Aussie who specifically trained her for the way the race would pan out.  Very small 1 % that make a difference.

      We have done very well, but made to look amateur by 2012 standards of preparation and race craft.

    • Baloo says:

      12:23pm | 06/08/12

      I find it quite annoying that we have like 20 medals but because only one of them is gold we are lower on the medal ladder then say Kazakhstan, who has 6 medals, all being gold.

    • SamO says:

      12:52pm | 06/08/12

      Agree 100%. Why is there not a points based system, say 3 for gold, 2 for silver and 1 for bronze or whatever is best. It’s as if the other medals don’t count for anything.

      You could have 1 gold, 99 silver and 99 bronze and be way down the list with every other country on one gold. How does that make sense? Surely a country in that ridiculous scenario should be higher up than a country that only has two gold and nothing else?

      I’ve never understood this about the Olympics and I think it perpetuates the only gold is good enough scenario we are seeing now. There is nothing wrong with silver people smile

    • Jad Jones says:

      01:00pm | 06/08/12

      But if we only had six gold medals and Kazakstan had 20 medals - all silver and bronze - guess which format of medal table we would prefer then?

    • The Free says:

      01:09pm | 06/08/12

      I think Baloo it’s because you can’t compare a Gold to a Silver Or Bronze.

      They are place medals and worth celebrating in their own right but anyone who thinks 3 bronzes is worth a gold is not with the program.

      Maybe 100 Bronzes = 1 Gold…

      Nah!

      No Gold medalist would trade any amount of silvers or bronzes for gold, so the table should stay right as it is.

      This talk always gets trotted out when we get lots of medals and a few golds (think 80’s - 96), but not so much when we’ve been in the top ten BECAUSE of Gold medals.

      This kind of shifting goalpost stuff makes us look like poor sports

    • Baloo says:

      01:23pm | 06/08/12

      I’m pretty sure I’d still want a points system as SamO suggested, Jad.

    • mitchell says:

      12:24pm | 06/08/12

      Another brilliant article by Ms McGuiness (shouldn’t that be two “n’s”??) and she has nailed the issue perfectly. Sports like the Olympics create huge interest and spawn a new generation of kids wanting to be just like Skippy, or Alicia or the Missile. This type of self motivated encouragement is priceless (apologies to Amex) and far outweighs spening $millions on obesity advertisments and related treatment. 

      In terms of the so called 2nd place disapponitment issue, every elite athlete has their own expectations and will react differently to the outcome whether it be gold or silver (in a slow time compared to their pb) or 50th (in a pb). Coaches constantly emphasise to their athletes that they be the best THEY can be. Trying to live up to others expectations is doomed to failure and creates the type of pressure that can destroy an athlete’s performance. The public should be celebrating our athletes giving their best effort - not whether they are the best (gold medal winner) . It’s a simple and well proffered fact that they can only control what they do - not what others do.

    • ProfoundBS says:

      12:53pm | 06/08/12

      Nothing else matters except what the athlete with the medal thinks. If they are happy with silver or bronze well good on them. If they are disappointed then that is their problem and they should be left alone to deal with it.

    • Tbird says:

      01:48pm | 06/08/12

      They are athletes. They are at the Olympics to WIN, get GOLD, etc
      Taxpayers haven’t sent them to London just to say they’ve competed at the Olympics or for a holiday.
      We shouldn’t be accepting Silver, or Bronze or last place!
      Olympic games is not under 10’s Little Athletics carnival where everyone gets a medal.

    • Samuel says:

      02:13pm | 06/08/12

      Well said. If the olympics were an amateur event i would totally agree with the article. But the taxpayer is footing the bill for many of these athletes (and has been footing the bill for a long time for some of them) and it’s not too much to expect results.

    • Kayleigh says:

      02:14pm | 06/08/12

      What are you suggesting, keeping them home if they aren’t guaranteed a gold?! Everyone there wants gold Tbird, but obviously not everyone will get one, and there is no way to guarantee it .

    • Not so. says:

      02:22pm | 06/08/12

      Actually no, the majority of athletes from all countries at the Olympics are just there to compete and have zero chance of picking up a medal.
      Mostly they are there for the honour of being an Olympian.
      There were 27 in the heats for the mens 100 metre sprint. At least 15 of them are probably still running, but they will always have the prestige of having competed.

    • Carolyn says:

      03:09pm | 06/08/12

      @ Not So

      “Actually no, the majority of athletes from all countries at the Olympics are just there to compete and have zero chance of picking up a medal”

      How do you know this? Have you spoken to each athlete from each country? Their coach? Proof of this?

    • Tbird says:

      03:14pm | 06/08/12

      Not so - So making up the numbers is ok? I was nearly good enough to win, oh well….
      Loser talk.
      Imagine if AFL/NRL clubs who lose the grand final say “oh well we make it to grand final -  near enough!” There would be outrage from the club members…so same thing -  Austalian Tax dollars make us all members of the Australia Olympic Team , so why are we accepting this near enough is good enough attitude?

    • Labor Mediocracy says:

      01:51pm | 06/08/12

      We need an inquiry, a royal commission into sports funding. 

      It is disgraceful that we have our athletes working so hard and not receiving the funding they need to get the coaches they need, to get the equipment they need and to obtain the travel to overseas sporting events they need.

      These athletes commit over a decade of their life to these sports, often for little reward, and our government saves 52million dollars from a 104million dollar request.  This is a disgrace.

      Who is responsible for Australian Athletes recieving silver instead of gold, our useless Federal Labor government is.  That’s who.

      An one to add to the long list of failures of this meadiocre Labor Government.  Sports Funding.

      This government has turned Australia from a meritocracy to mediocracy.

    • Andrew L says:

      03:59pm | 06/08/12

      You guys just can’t help yourself can you?

    • Drama Queen says:

      04:51pm | 06/08/12

      Labor Mediocracy - this Olympic team has been given more tax-payer money than any Olympic team before. We also spend more per capita on athletes than do most other countries.

      If you want to blame anyone blame the AIS.

    • Labor Mediocracy says:

      08:57pm | 06/08/12

      @ Drama Queen - the 52 million was cut from the high performance program.

      May claim of Labor creating a Mediocracy stands.

    • Arnold Layne says:

      02:10pm | 06/08/12

      Last night during the women’s marathon call, Robert De Castella, on one of the few occasions he could get a word in over Eddie, said that “athletes come here to do their best.  If they don’t do that they should be disappointed.”  I completely agree with him.  Lisa Weightman finished 17th in a Personal Best time so good for her, we should be praising her efforts.  Other athletes who turn in dismal performances should be questioned as to what went wrong.  They owe it to their teammates, the people they were selected ahead of and the people of the nation who pay for their training.  Yes they work and train hard, yes they’re fitter than the rest of us but if we don’t evaluate what they did compared to what the successful athletes did, we’ll just make the same mistake next time.

      Cate Campbell said that they were all trying really hard but the other nations had “stepped up”.  So why haven’t we stepped up too?  This young 400M runner has run faster than he ever has, twice in a row, and is now a 400M finalist.  He probably won’t win or get a medal but is now in with a chance and will always be able to say he made an Olympic final.  Jessica Fox scored a silver with an awesome kayak effort.  That’s what this is about.  Doing better than you ever have before on the biggest stage there is.

    • Kayleigh says:

      04:26pm | 06/08/12

      Well said. You can’t guarantee a gold, but an athlete can (and should) guarantee they do their best job.

    • Ally says:

      02:21pm | 06/08/12

      I agree that the media coverage has been pretty disappointing with regards to their attitudes to silver medals.

      However, we have a number of athletes going in to the games as number one in their sport/event. If they perform below their best level, then yeah, it’s a disappointment. Particularly when, as KH notes above, there is a lack of team support for fellow athletes, there are distractions from social media use and there are hissy fits and sulking.

      People will say “but the sacrifice these people make!”. Yes, to perform at a competitive level is a huge sacrifice and takes a lot of commitment. It’s also an incredibly selfish thing to do because it requires athletes to put themselves before absolutely everything and then live in a bubble where you’re constantly being told how awesome you are. While being supported in part by the public purse, in a lot of cases. This isn’t China, athletes are not being forced to give up their lives to train and compete because they’re pinpointed as having the right physical attributes, they’re doing it because they love their sport and want to succeed.

    • Wilma J Craig says:

      02:30pm | 06/08/12

      Gold, Silver, Bronze? Who cares? If 1/10th of the couch potatotes, commentators, most of whom would be hard-pressed to walk, let alone run, around their local footy oval, could perform as any one of any of the competitors, whether they win gold, silver or bronze or simply come in last, then they might have some reason to criticise.
      So long as the competitors Enjoy themselves that is all that matters. If any of them happen to comes 1st, 2nd or 3rd it is they, not the country they come from, who get those places. Even if they come in last they can hold their heads up with pride for they have got to where precious few ever do.
      If any questions are to be asked as to why someone did not perform as expected they will be asking themselves those questions and we don’t need commentators etc. demanding answers & pontificating as to ‘what went wrong’. Probably nothing went wrong. The others were simply better, stronger, faster.

    • Stu says:

      02:45pm | 06/08/12

      Ah yes, the old “if you can’t do better then don’t criticize them” line. When we’re the ones funding our athletes then we surely get to expect some value, some return on investment, not just for competitors to simply “enjoy themselves”. This isn’t a stage where all the participants get an achievement award for showing up. However I agree with your last paragraph - sometimes there are no explanations other than the other competitors simply being better on the day.

    • Phillb says:

      02:38pm | 06/08/12

      I don’t care if they win silver rather then gold.  I do care how they behave when they win silver however. 
      I felt like shaking some of our swimmers and pointing them in the direction of Jessica Fox and the lady who got silver in rowing and saying “See, that’s how you win silver gracefully.  No whining and blubbering or crap you expect at an under 10’s soccer compeition.  Be proud of the fact you are an Olympic medallist and set a better example for my kids.”
      Silver is a great effort.  The athletes reaction to silver is not.

    • snooch says:

      03:14pm | 06/08/12

      It wasn’t the media proclaiming Australia would finish in the top five in the medal count. It wasn’t the media “talking the talk” prior to the Games that anything other than gold was unacceptable. Some of the whinging athletes, their managers and everyone from the AOC down were the ones putting the unrealistic expecations out there.  So to say “In particular the distorted view that you either win gold or give up completely” is somewhat moot. They were the ones either saying or inferring it.

      A lot of people spend just as much time in their own jobs as these people do in theirs - for much less money, fame and perks. It’s OK to use the media for their own self-promotion, but when they don’t live up to their own expectations (and expectations they’ve convinced us to believe in) they’re not allowed to be critically analysed?? Give me a break! If they don’t want the “pressure” perhaps they should stop trying to outbid each other for the most amount of Twitter followers or Facebook friends. And perhaps they should also start completely funding their own careers.

      Those athletes whinging about how hard done by they have been by the media need to sacrifice their ego, grow up and stop playing the blame game.

    • AdamC says:

      03:54pm | 06/08/12

      “Some of the whinging athletes, their managers and everyone from the AOC down were the ones putting the unrealistic expecations out there.”

      Only it wasn’t that the expectations were unrealistic, as such. Our athletes have just been performing below their best, while those of other nations have risen to the occasion.

    • Andrew says:

      03:27pm | 06/08/12

      “A lot of people spend just as much time in their own jobs as these people do in theirs - for much less money, fame and perks” - most athletes get paid nothing, especially swimmers. Only a few of them get paid a small sum of money. And they’re not playing the blame game, they’re being honest and telling it like it is.

      Also that’s not what this article is about its about kids being inspired by athletes

    • Amanda says:

      03:45pm | 06/08/12

      In the non elite existance I lead I frankly couldnt give a toss about the run of silver and the media whoo haa thats going on. I am up every night though as I love a great athlete and a win no matter which country you come from as all your hard work has paid off.  Yes it has been great in the past as well to see ourselves higher on the “gold based” medal table and its the Australian olympic Team’s goal to get us there.

      So from where I am sitting the only person I see “slammin’ the silver” is the silver medal winner himself. Mitchell , my sadness for you came only in your reaction. You looked miserable. Same goes for Emily Seebohm’s tears, the miserable “Oarsome Foursome” and James Magnussen’s reaction to anything. The media reaction, I believe, comes after yours!

    • Susan says:

      03:55pm | 06/08/12

      Absolutely not.  Are you watching Nine?  Since the beginning of the games their commentators have gone up to people who have just won something..“Are you disappointed?” “You must be gutted”...on and on..because the colour isn’t gold.  People have been posting about it social media for days disgusted at the commentary team’s poor attitudes.

      I applaud Mitchell Lake for being the first one to tell these jokers to pull their heads in, that silver is just fine thanks and just competing is a win.

      There WAS a time when people were simply congratulated…without qualification…for getting a personal best.

      Somewhere is this huge cash cow the Olympic has become, the spirit is waning and that is the biggest shame of all.

    • Anjuli says:

      04:12pm | 06/08/12

      The Brits as well as the Europeans have thrown a great deal of money the athletes way, to bring them to the standard they are achieving.

    • Chonko says:

      07:18pm | 06/08/12

      The Brits are now throwing the same money Australia has always thrown.  However our AIS is a lot older and as a government department it has not been able to avoid building a bureaucracy to serve itself rather than to further sport.  Look at the desperation in trying to reignite Thorpe and Klim rather than having a new wave of young athletes ready and chomping.  The little sporting empires that administrators have built with the very generous tax payer sports dollars need to be reviewed and probably torched.  While our athletes have done well, they now compete with equally resourced athletes with administrators who have not yet become lazy.

    • Mont says:

      04:28pm | 06/08/12

      They havent been getting many PBs though

    • Bear says:

      05:33pm | 06/08/12

      Oh poor me, “my” tax dollars get spent on stuff, poor me. So over the whole righty self pity bullshit. Much more gets wasted on less worthwhile purposes, mostly promoting Govt policies nobody cares about. Am happy for it go to something positive!

    • stephen says:

      06:10pm | 06/08/12

      So far there have been 2 true champions : Steve Solomon and Jess Fox.
      The former was a replacement for the 400 metre champion who complained that his race - colour, that is - was the the reason he was excluded previously from an event, (actually, his and the other chap’s whinge is probably partly the reason so many of the public lack some respect for our Olympic Officialdom : they should have been silenced immediately.)
      At any rate, Mr. Solomon has raced wonderfully, and whatever happens in the final, his dues have been paid and he should be included in Rio’s Games.
      Jess. Fox, besides being a school dux, is an almighty athlete, and now that we know she is studying Media at Syd. Uni. it would be an error of a comparable magnitude for a network not to pick up her talent.
      She’s a knockout !

    • Andrew says:

      07:16pm | 06/08/12

      Well said Mont,  PB’s are the key and they have been rare.  IMHO the preparation has been lacking, if you produce a PB then it’s a great effort regardless of where you come.

    • Sportsmanship dead? says:

      07:24pm | 06/08/12

      Hubris.

      Maybe if there wasn’t so much of that, there would be less expectation on our swimmers to win gold?

    • Mike says:

      08:02pm | 06/08/12

      I love the way that the medal table is now being reflected in the media as “how many silver won”, just to try and get Australia ahead of Team GB and make it look like they are beating them.

      Pathetic.  It’s like a racing car driver arguing that he’s better than the overall performance of the champion “because he came third more times”.

      Give up.  You lost.  Accept it.  Your media was full of bravado and now the only gold you have is the golden yolk of the egg on your face.

    • Team GB says:

      11:29pm | 06/08/12

      I think the whole attitude of Australians going into these Games was appalling and you have reaped what you have sown. Instead of focusing on Australian performance all the talk in the Aussie camp was to “rain on the Poms’ parade” and “spoil the Brits’ party”. Wow great positive attitude that! The Oz media was obsessed with the rain and running critical stories of the host nation in the lead up. Admittedly these were lifted from the natural pre-Games anxieties in the local media, but it is bad form for the guests to stick the boot in. Since the Games began you’ve been hounding your own athletes, trying to stir up an anti-British agenda at every turn, and not stopped banging on how much better things were in Sydney.

      The atmosphere in the UK right now is electric. It’s a huge party and everyone is loving it. Maybe if you dropped the surly attitude, Australia might yet salvage some fun from these Olympics before it’s too late!

      Good luck to Sally Pearson, fantastic athlete and really hope she wins gold for Australia - though if she runs it slower than Jess Ennis did in the heptathlon we’ll be claiming it wink

    • Mike says:

      08:15am | 07/08/12

      Too right, could not have said it better myself. I haven’t seen any of this type of talk from the USA, so it makes me - as someone who migrated here to work hard and give back to Australia - pretty sad when you see your “new home” trash talking your old one.

      Now all the excuses and daily post-mortems are flying thick and fast.  Suck it up, Team Australia, you lost and it’s your own fault, not the rain, not the jet lag, not the tweets or FB posts, just yourselves.

      Maybe if winning a shiny piece of metal is so important to Australia, they can throw some more money at it and win some next time. 

      It will be the most expensive gold they ever did get, if they do, because you already have enough of the stuff in your own back yard to dig up, but you won’t spend money on that and the infrastructure needed to get it from the mine to the consumer; sovereign wealth that, like Norway, would reap benefits for generations to come.

    • colroe says:

      11:02am | 07/08/12

      I am sure the athletes are doing their best.  However, in the words of the athletes themselves, and applied to Australia, “Are we happy to be second best?”

 

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