09 August 2012

Shame on You, Media Meanies!

I've been feeling sick to my stomach lately. Partly it's the fluey headcold I'm fighting off, but largely it's the Olympics. Not the Olympics themselves, rather the sniping finger-pointing negativity that is emerging from some sections of the media.

I'm not usually one for controversy, but I have to get this out. I have a platform, I have things to say, so darnit, I'm gonna have my two cents worth and tell off some big meanies...
Right, Media people, here it comes.

Firstly, I object to the way you said Valerie Adams "failed to defend her title". Failed?
You choose to use that word? Sniping about poor form and disappointing performance when the poor lass worked her ass off for the past four years, is in the best shape of her life and threw the shotput further than she did at Beijing when she won Gold.
She did awesome. She failed NOTHING.
The other girl just threw further. Valerie did everything she could.

And then. I think it's rather poor sportsmanship and comes off sounding extremely whiney to then make such a song and dance about the admin muck-up and blame it for Valerie's "failure".

Discovering that she wasn't on the list would have been extremely stressful for Valerie. To find out at the start of competition that you're not registered because someone forgot to send your form in? To be kept out of the Olympic stadium so you can't practise because of a clerical cock-up? Terrible. Awful. Nightmarish.

But do you know what? Valerie herself is not blaming that mess for not winning Gold.
She's not making excuses.
She said, "I left my heart out there on the field and it just wasn't enough."
So please can the media stop focusing on the negative and blaming and accusing.
It makes us all look bad. Like poor sports, sore losers, whiney babies.

An Olympic Silver is nothing to be ashamed of. Second in the world? Amazing.
Valerie you did awesome. And yes we WILL continue to support you. You did NOT disappoint us. You did NOT let us down. Chin up, girl, you did yourself (and us) proud.

[Sir John Walker - quick to stick the knife in - SHAME ON YOU!]

Sir John Walker I am extremely disappointed in you and your meanness about 1500 metre runner, Nick Willis.
He ran a great heat, and a good semi final. The time he ran in the semi final would have won him Silver. But guess what? His legs failed him. He had a bad race at the worst possible moment. All his medal hopes and everything he'd worked for over the past four years went out the window.

Having trained and sacrificed and worked for the last four years, to have your body fail you at the most crucial moment? Beyond heartbreaking.

Poor Nick was devastated, but managed to be humble and gracious in his interview only minutes after picking himself up off the ground and remains generous in the face of stinging criticism.

That's a champion, right there.
You could stand to learn a thing or two from this guy.  Nick is a superb athlete who represents our country proudly; he deserves our support through good times and bad.

Come on John Walker. You know what its like when the media get their knives out. I seem to remember a time when you were called a "has-been" yourself.
Where is your empathy? Where is your heart?
I have lost all respect for you, because of your eagerness to jump on the back-stabbing bandwagon.
You of all people should know better.

[Some of the captions and headlines make my blood boil]

As for the rest of you, who were tucked up warm in your beds all those mornings when Valerie and Nick and co. were up slogging away to try and win New Zealand a medal, back off will you?
How about a backslap? A thank you? Or a Goodonya mate, you tried your best with few resources and little support?

How about quitting asking the stupidest most inane questions of these athletes the second they stagger from the competition? Stop pointing out the obvious, rubbing salt in wounds, kicking them while they're down?

We are a tiny weeny little country who's entire population is smaller than most average cities in the many of the countries we are competing with. And yet, without sports academies, corporate sponsorship or government support these athletes have sacrificed their own time, sweat and tears and have still managed to produce world class performances.

Our athletes can hold their heads high.  They have given their all. None of them have embarrassed us. There's not a cheat or whiner or show-pony among them.
Every single one of our Kiwi athletes has done us proud. Thanks to their hard work, our tiny country punches above its weight in the sporting arena, seeing off competitors from bigger countries with better funding and more resources.

New Zealand athletes are a force to be reckoned with. They compete with heart and guts; they go above and beyond the call of duty. They wear the black singlet with pride.
The least we can do is cheer them on and not stab them in the back when they don't get the results we might have been hoping for.

Come on Kiwi Media, you can do better.

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