12 August 2008

Well done Rebecca - ignore that miserable old sod on my links list

Confound grumps like Five-Centres, who seems to think that because most of our Olympians are involved in sport which doesn't get much publicity the rest of the time, that this somehow makes our most successful competitors less newsworthy when they do well.

Rebecca Adlington's training regime to get to the gold medal in the 400m freestyle is unspeakably hard. 5am starts, two hours in the pool, two hours in the gym, two more hours in the pool, carefully chosen lunch, rest, two more hours in the pool, carefully chosen dinner, early night. Training on Christmas Day. Abstention from any sort of social life. Alcohol? Not on your nelly. Making friends only with those ploughing up and down the water with her. Consistently smelling of chlorine. Forever having to watch what she eats and which medications and supplements she's allowed to take.

She will have undertaken this sort of regime ever since her potential was spotted and she's had up to four years of putting her life on hold for the glorious moment when she took on the world and won. Here we can relive it...

The joy and rapture in her face when she saw the final placings encapsulated that moment perfectly - all those months and years of sheer hard work and sacrifice had paid off - and then churls like F-C whinge about it.

My blood is boiling!

Rebecca has a gold medal which is hers forever and ever. The UK has few female Olympians who have struck gold so even the biggest killjoys like F-C should be prepared to shrug and say well done. Or keep quiet. Or take up a sport and see how long they last before they return to the crisps, beer, telly and criticism.

Cuh. And to think I like him too...


Five-Centres said...

That wasn't my point at all, actually Matt, but thanks for the personal attack nonetheless.

My question was, why the fuss about the event in general, and is someone winning a gold medal for bike riding actually HEADLINE news. I did say good for the winners and I mean it.

Clair said...

Yes, I didn't take F-C's comments in the way you interpreted them, either Matt! I think it just shows the way sport divides people. F-C and I are the sort of people for whom a light game of Scrabble counts, and a chum described the Eurovision Song Contest as 'the Olympics for people who don't like sport'.

Me? I'm delighted when British athletes win, but this summer, I shall be watching a lot of DVDs.

Matthew Rudd said...

From the F-C blog: "...a British woman who we'd never heard of had won a gold medal for swimming. Good for her of course, but is this really headline news?"

So what other sort of news is it? Tucked away as the last item, having dropped the dead donkey? This is a 19 year old woman who has just had the most extraordinary moment of her life, that she's been building up to, in front of a watching world of billions and with the pressure - of both supporters and detractors - on her shoulders. It's definitely headline news. By questioning whether it should be headline news or not means you are saying it should be less newsworthy.

She's our first female swimming gold medallist since 1960 - that's headline news too. It's not just GMTV either - the BBC (including Radio 4) and Sky led with it, and more than half of today's front pages have a picture of her on them. This suggests you have an issue with the whole news agenda, not just with GMTV.

I'm very sorry you took it as a personal attack F-C - the tone was meant to be light-hearted even though I profoundly disagree with you and have always hated the British tendency to knock success and accept second best.

It's more telling for someone like Rebecca Adlington too, as in recent years our swimmers have underachieved, leading to the accusations of being unmotivated, undedicated etc. She - plus her team-mate Jo Jackson who came third - has finally stopped that particular brand of rot.

I stand by what I said, but it wasn't meant to be personal.

Bright Ambassador said...

Here's a choice: which would you rather see as headline news - Russians and Georgians killing each other or someone whose worked their arse off reaching the pinnacle of their career?

Sky Clearbrook said...

Room for both, I'd say. otherwise, all reported news would just be called One New Thing That Happened Today.

Bright Ambassador said...

I meant as the 'top story'.