Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Amazing Race to London 2012

The Olympics don't start for a few days, but already a race has been run and won.

The race to London via the Australian media. How have the athletes navigated the treacherous waters of the Australian media in the lead up to London? There have been numerous traps along the way, and while some have got through successfully, others have failed miserably. Answering any questions by Carrie Bickmore and the 7pm Project is to flirt with failure. And to be spoken to or associated with Hamish and Hamish turns any athlete into a D grade wannabe celeb, and is cause for instant disqualification.

So who's made it to London unscathed and with class intact? And who has embarrassed themselves by whining, stupidity and generally being talentless? (its fair to say a lot have)

The results are in...

Gold Medal
Sally Pearson
For Australia's most high profile and best chance at an Athletics Gold, not much has been heard from Sally. And that's the exact reason she is our best chance to win Gold. She goes to London for one reason, to win Gold. And the Australian media hasn't distracted her from that. She wont be silencing her critics because there are none. She lets her talents do the talking, and has stayed out of all the nonsense that has been going on with her team mates.Even though its too late for you Tamsyn Lewis, take note, this is how you become a champion.

Silver Medal
The Women's Basketball Team
The Opals walk with swagger, and hold themselves with the confidence and professionalism of a team with business to get done. Try as they might, B-grade AFL and NRL journalists moonlighting as Olympic journalists haven't been able to get close to controversy.

The media made a huge song and dance about the Opals having to travel economy class while the mens team got business class. The team was baited and baited by a over excited media who were drooling on the anticipation of a gender inequality story to outrage the masses. But the Opals gave them nothing. And in the background, the inequality was rectified by Basketball Australia, and the Opals didn't miss a single minute of training. Journos ran around like headless chickens looking for somewhere to start some drama, but had to settle from comments from themselves, as the Opals bought into none of it. A huge test resulted in a flawless, winning effort.

Bronze Medal  DQ
Stephanie Rice
Carrying the unfortunate Bruce McAvainy title of "Australia's Golden Girl" from the 2008 Games, hers was always going to be an arduous race. Moreso than being a winner, being a young and pretty lady attracts the media like blood thirsty vultures circling above, just waiting for the next mistake or controversy which they can dive on and devour. Her degree of difficulty has been extreme, and by no means has she run a perfect race. She was in Steffensen territory for a while with her monumental twitter blunders early in the piece, and the bad start cost her the gold in this race. But somehow she's been able to surprise everyone, and has powered through the home straight, with all recent coverage being about her training and progress from injury, and not her looks or tweets. No mean feat. And she goes to London with a reputation as a fierce competitor, not a just a glamour girl, so she's done something right.

Update 25/07/12 PM
Whoops. An automatic DQ for Rice. A reliable source has provided a photograph of her, not only with Hamish and Hamish, but with one half of Dumb and Dumber as well. A moment of insanity, and an indisputable disqualification. Her race to London ends in a spectacular last minute failure.

4th Place
Steve Hooker
Was on his way to a podium finish, but got involved with Steffensen. As a big time athlete, he should have known better. Hooker has had a tough run to these Olympics, but is still aiming to win. Not just compete, but win. He's not blaiming anyone else for his woes, and he's only focused on fixing them. As the Captain of the biggest bunch of whingers in London Australian Athletics Team, he's had a lot of stupidity to deal with. But Steffensen aside, he managed to stay out of the turbulence, which is truly an amazing effort.

5th Place
Natalie Cook
In one shot, the 2000 Gold medalist spared us all from the predictable debate about beach volleyball bikinis before it got off the ground. When a 5-time Olympian says that her uniform is the most practical and comfortable thing to wear, there is no argument to be had. The permanently outraged hadn't even been able to climb atop their high horses and shout sexism, when their arguments were mooted to irrelevancy.

But on the homestretch she has taken her eyes off the prize in the race to London with her clanger about deserving to be the flag bearer. Whether or not she's deserving of the honour, is a little trashy to tell everyone that it should be hers. Her threats of a sit-in protest may or may not have been said in jest, but it doesn't matter, the smallest hint of dissent or controversy, arrogance or sexism, is like shooting fish in a barrel for the Aussie media. And they pounced big time, by the end even Dawn Fraser had a say. Rookie error by the Olympic veteran.

6th Place
Kendrink Monk
Swimming isn't a team sport, but stupidity evidently is. Monk and his thug mate D'Arcy were named Dumb and Dumber after a photo of them in a gun shop in the US was posted on Facebook. Although the ensuing outrage was really just an excuse for the media to make some noise, and no one genuinely cared, these dimwits should have seen the outrage coming. But the photo was really just the icing on the cake for Monk.

Ahh Monk. A swimmer training for an Olympics cruisin' on a skateboard would normally win any race to stupidville, but its what happened next which makes this guy a real dud. The fall from the skateboard and resulting broken arm was of course inevitable, but making up an impossible story about a hit and run accident to cover it up? Monk, you're just not smart enough to pull off a lie that size! Much better to say that you were rolling with your homie D'Arcy who got both of you into a fight at a pub. No one would have questioned it.

7th Place
John Steffensen
Saved from last place by his female equivalent, how this guy is on the team is truly astounding. Even with the fact that he has not come close to the qualifying time; all of his yapping to anyone who will listen; his endless, unsubstantiated claims of racism and prejudice; and his staging of a one-man boycott of the Games, Steffensen has still somehow found himself with a ticket to London. If there's any prejudice going on, its that Steffensen gets preferential treatment! Why Athletics Australia didn't gleefully accept his boycott and move on is a mystery for the ages. Wait for his track campaign to end with last place in his heat.

And not to mention his incoherent tweets! Its not just his attitude that needs work, its also his spelling and grammer. Its astonishing.

Tamsyn Lewis
Hasn’t come close to the Olympic qualification time for any event, yet somehow still feels justified to complain and cry foul about being uninvited to anyone silly enough not to run in the opposite direction. Constantly playing the victim, she looks for publicity at the lowest common denominator – from the trashy current affairs shows to Zoo Magazine. On the rare occasion she is in the media spotlight for athletics, there’s more nonsense drama than an episode of The Shire.  The uncontrollable tears about coming last in Beijing and her on-track spat with Jana Pittman embarrassed everybody involved. She carries herself with the poise of spoilt pre-teen brat, and wonders why a spot in London isn’t handed to her on a silver platter. In fact the only thing she has got right is claiming that “I'm not wanted”. You're not Tamsyn. You definitely are not.

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