So Australia's Olympic athletes think we're being a little harsh, not being thrilled with their silver-lined Games effort. Well, boo hoo!
Let's get one thing straight, Olympic hacks: if you're going to shamelessly leech off the public purse, get paid taxpayers' hard-earned dollars to go for a swim each day, or a bit of a jog, or maybe to sail your boat or row your kayak, or pedal your bike, not to mention strutting around in lycra 20 hours a day, we have every flaming right to line you up with both barrels if you don't produce the gold. Got it?
Or, to be accurate, everybody except the Olympic shooting team will line you up with both barrels. Because those losers would probably aim a little too far to the left or right.
I don't want to hear any more of this: "Gee, saying a swimmer looks overweight on the eve of the Games will psychologically cripple her for her swim". I don't want to hear any more: "Our coaches are thrilled with silver, I'm thrilled with silver, you guys (the media) should be too."
No, First Loser, we should not. You get paid to win gold, so win gold.
I don't care if some wunderkind from Kazakhstan has risen from nowhere in the rankings since the last Olympics. I don't care that you had a bit of a dicky shoulder that affected your preparation two years ago before the nationals. I don't care that your supply of pritikin ginseng alf-alfa-sourced amino acid ran out for a week back in March, crippling your chances.
In footy, it's understood that if you're on the field, you're fit.
If you get hurt during the game, you play hurt.
And you win.
And if you don't win, you get screamed at by the fans and scorched by the media.
It's not complicated. It's not hard. It's not unfair.
Hand back the tax funds or go win gold. We've invested, we're investors and we expect a return on our investment.
And if you think I'm being harsh, I would remind you about The Incident, which I still don't like to talk about, from Melbourne in 1956. The media were certainly pretty savage on one Australian competitor, name of Gillespie, for not only losing but apparently "bringing the Games into disrepute" on that occasion. Did I complain? Did I whinge that I was psychologically scarred by the articles? No, I copped the whack, belted a journo or two who had gone too far, and got back on my bike. Literally. Unlike the other guy, who never rode again.
Every Olympics, there's talk of a street parade through the Australian capital cities, celebrating our golden heroes. Well, how about this: I say we have a much larger street parade, naming and shaming all the Olympians who didn't produce when it mattered. Who had their one famous every-four-years moment in the sun, and screwed up, didn't perform, weren't up to it, failed.
How about that, Olympians? A street parade we can all get excited about.
I'm Scratcher Gillespie and so was my dad.