So… this doesn’t exactly qualify as a Sydney sport. It’s actually not a Sydney sport at all. But I wouldn’t be a sports blogger if I didn’t post something about the Olympics.
With the Olympics less than a week from completion, Australians are getting their undies in a bunch over the medal tally where, according to Aussies, Australia isn’t doing so well. As I am writing this sentence… Australia is currently ranked 24th. People are pissed because Australia has been pumping money into their sports and still aren’t faring well. It becomes an issue of ‘where the f**k did our money go?’ for tax payers. Which is understandable. It’s even more embarrassing because Australia is behind countries that weren’t expected to be dominating as much as they are such as Kazakstan in 7th place, the Ukraine in 22nd place and, the enemy above all enemies: New Zealand at 14th place (GASP!). To make matters worse, they’ve lost swimming events where they were the heavy favourite and have seen athletes crumble, such as in the women’s triathalon with Erin Denshan who had the lead the whole way, just to end up with bronze. It’s heartbreaking when it’s that close, I know.
Yes, this is all very sad and Australia you have a reason to be disappointed. But seriously? CALM. DOWN.
The entire weekend I was overwhelmed with friends, random people, newspaper articles, news segments slamming the Australian government and Olympic team because of their lack of medals (with a few, wonderful exceptions) – and it’s the comments on these articles that are the worst. I cannot take it anymore. I understand that you want your tax dollars back. But slamming the athletes for not winning is just plain uncool. Remember: you did not wake up at 5 am every day for the past four years and give your blood, sweat and tears to a dream. When you do, then come to me bitching about how they’re doing poorly. I mean hey, I almost passed out doing a ten minute HIIT workout last week. I have no business hurling insults at some of the best athletes in the world.
And c’mon. Look at the bigger picture: your country is in the top 20% in the world! How awesome is that?! That’s a pretty big deal. And Aussie swimmer Alicia Coutts has won five medals! Be serious – that’s some girl power, right there.
I don’t even hear anyone complaining about how rower Josh Booth had to be sent home because he was causing a ruckus and breaking windows. If you want to talk about being embarrassed – don’t look any further. He’s the embarrassment; not the other competitors who are giving their all to try and make their country look good.
I realise there is a competitive nature in all of us to want to be the best. But face it: Australia is not going to have the most medals this year (although I won’t even get started on my issues with the Chinese) so if you’re not going to be number one, can’t you at least enjoy being where you are?
DISCLAIMER: Yes, I’m an American. I was told several times this weekend that my opinion doesn’t matter because my country has pretty much been in the top three since the flame was lit, so I don’t know what it’s like. That is true. But I’d like to think that if my country wasn’t doing as well as expected, I’d support them, anyway.