Olympic Preview – Sports we don’t understand but still love

So the Olympic Games are around the corner, and despite already meeting its scandal quota before the opening ceremony, Rio2016 will hopefully still be a fun event.

Arguably the best thing about the Olympic Games is being exposed to sports we have no knowledge of, watch only once every four years, or simply don’t care about in any real way… and still being interested in how the drama unfolds.

After all, everyone on Earth watches the 100m Sprint Finals. The floor gymnastics, basketball, soccer and swimming have no problems drawing our attention. And for some bizarre reason women’s beach volleyball is intensely popular.

Made all the more bizarre by the fact that Val Kilmer isn't even involved...

Made all the more bizarre by the fact that Val Kilmer isn’t even involved…

But what about the less-well-known Olympic events that still have us glued to the TV?

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In defence of Nick Kyrgios

So Nick Kyrgios has declined to represent Australia in tennis at the Rio Olympics, and cited the Australian Olympic Committee’s treatment of him as a reason for his withdrawal.

The response from the sporting public has been predictable: “GOOD! Kid has an ego and throws tantrums on-court. He Tweets too much. He doesn’t deserve to wear the sacred Green and Gold, reserved only for good, hard-working Aussies.

Are sunnies part of the uniform? Why aren’t the lenses green and gold!?

Australia’s Rio Olympics Chief, Kitty Chiller put it like this:

“I think some of Nick’s comments in social media in the past week shows he doesn’t really understand what it means to be an Australian Olympian.”

The dirty truth of her comments might not be obvious to most. However, the hidden meaning of her comment is plain-as-day to any second-generation Australian.

Nick has been hung out to dry by the Australian Olympic Committee because he’s not Aussie enough.

Yes. It’s racial prejudice.

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Yamilé Aldama: claiming more than gold at London 2012

A lot is said in the Olympics after a great sporting triumph – generally the joy, jubilation and satisfaction that comes after four years of sacrifice and hard work. But what about those who had to wait even longer – whose sporting triumphs are measured not only by their feats but also when you consider their unbelievable persistence, diligence and patience in the face of adversity? The James Magnussens of the world compete with an expectation of success. Thankfully there are athletes who simply do the best they can and compete fully aware of the privilege and honour that comes with being able to represent your country on the biggest stage. No more, no less.

Warning: expecting success generally leads to this

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Australia’s London Awakening

During my University days I had a job lifeguarding at a large swim centre in Melbourne. I’d arrive at the ungodly hour of 5:30am and watch through bleary eyes as the local swim squad did laps for a few hours before they headed off to school. The fact that I was charged with their wellbeing was kind of funny, because I’m a mediocre swimmer. However, it is surprisingly easy to qualify as a pool lifeguard, and it pays well, so I wasn’t about to complain.

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It also gave me a chance to yell at little kids and make them cry, so it was win-win-win!

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