This week is a time to rethink our role in the world of international sports and the effect of the media on the opportunities for success for the athletes. Like many of you, the airways were filled with the pictures of the events on an hourly basis and the endless explanations of why so many of our fine athletes have done so much worse than their personal best scores. Even worse, the terrible problems which have occurred for some of our gold medal hopefuls and the media feeling that they have the answers while they sit by and fill the TV sets with their amateur psychological drivel.
What would happen if there were no press, no large corporate sponsorships, no discussions with the coaches, athletes, or parents? The days of Percy Williams and the others of the late 1920?s and 1930?s who went to the Olympics on cattle boats and no financial rewards in sight, but went because they wanted to participate and did it on their own hook(s) seem to have left a legacy of true idealistic values for us to remember.
I find it strange and difficult to understand when some of the victors in today?s events are promised many thousands of dollars for receiving a gold medal in many of the events their country has promised them. What happened to ?simon pure? and the other old expressions we used to have in our vocabularies? I must admit the athletes today have had spectacular training schedules to give them the opportunity to compete, but, I personally used to enjoy ?Annie, Annie, aye over? and good old ?Kick the can? and ?Run sheep run!? to name a few of the innocent games of our childhood which required no equipment, no adult supervision, no coaching, and were just a lot of fun.
Probably would not have a possibility of getting on TV, or sponsorship, but then none of my buddies ever qualified to be super heroes, and just played endless games because it was fun! It would be interesting to hear from you and your thoughts on the matter.
I am sure you thought I would spend today on Captain Smirk and his antics. Sorry to disappoint you.