Olympians vs Footballers

Posted by on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 Under: Olympics
This debate has probably been and gone, but thought I would give my pennies worth anyway considering my thoughts on the subject. 

I won’t harp on about how much we loved the Olympics, it was an amazing experience and one of the best things about it was those who hated the idea of the Olympics in London were well and truly converted by the end of the Games. I was lucky enough to be around London and Stratford when the Games were on, and it sounds like a cliché but it really was a special atmosphere that I’ve never experienced at any other sporting event. 

Of course a major factor as to why the atmosphere was so good around the country was because of the performance of the athletes, in particular the British athletes who conducted themselves with amazing grit and determination and a simple humble attitude which endeared them to the nation often bringing a tear to your eye. That’s stark contrast to your average footballer who most likely will bring tears of anger and frustration rather than joy through their ignorance and disenchanting behaviour. A fine example of this was in the Olympic Games itself when the British football team were eliminated from the competition on penalties. Unfortunately Daniel Sturridge was the victim of a missed penalty which sent Britain packing, but rather than acting downbeat and dignified, he acted downright petulant and arrogant, swatting away any condolences that came his way like a spoilt child yet summing up the modern day footballer.   

The comparisons were sure to come between athletes and footballers, and I watched Michael Owen talk about this on Sky Sports’ ‘Goals on Sunday’ show recently and he made some really valid points both on the sofa and in his blog post about how you can’t compare the Olympics to football in terms of atmosphere and that there were no rivalries between fans at the Olympic venues etc. I think Michael is right in what he is saying in that sense, but I feel like he’s got the wrong end of the stick completely, most of the comparisons made were regarding the attitude of the athletes and footballers. Whilst watching the Olympics I was amazed at how much people will put their body through in order to win a gold medal and then the sheer joy when they do win. Every week we watch certain footballers slope around the pitch only to get a huge payslip at the end of it, courtesy of your hard working fan. 

We can’t tar every footballer with the same brush, and of course football so much more high profile that athletics or swimming, but you just can’t help but feel that something needs to be done to help endear players to the general public more, but maybe that’s for another post.  

One of my biggest memories of the London Olympic Games was the medal ceremony for the men’s 400m hurdles event when Felix Sanchez picked up his gold medal, the emotion just poured out of the 34 year old and you really felt like this is something he had worked for and dreamed of his whole life, it would have to be something special to see something as heart-warming as that on a football pitch.
 

In : Olympics 


Tags: olympics  footballers  michael owen  felix sanchez 
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