Anendra Singh: It's a world of weirdos

By Sports editor Anendra Singh

You've got to love the passion of Audrey Tcheumeo, the judoka who won bronze at the London Olympics last Friday.

Having beaten Abigel Joo of Hungary in the bronze match in the women's 78kg grade, the Frenchwoman wept uncontrollably.

One would think winning any kind of medal at the Games is reason for anyone to celebrate.

Wrong. Tcheumeo was inconsolable. Her coach hugged her, officials cajoled her, photographers tried their utmost to eke a smile from the woman in blue but to no avail.

What was bugging the 22-year-old?

A gold medallist at the World Championship and European Championship, Tcheumeo knew she had underachieved at the Olympics after losing to Gemma Gibbons, of Great Britain, for a chance at winning gold.

No, none of that namby pamby nonsense from this woman about how she "at least got bronze" and that she "should be happy".

Nah, she wouldn't have a bar of it.

It was gold or bust for this hybrid species.

She didn't train for years and build her confidence with gold medals in numerous international tournaments to stumble on the last hurdle in the world's most elite sporting arena.

You see, that's exactly what's lacking in the Olympics these days.

Before everyone becomes intoxicated by all that Olympic spirit, it's not about participating at all.

Neither is it simply about winning. It's about how you are going to make a global statement.

It's about emerging from an ordinary existence to an extraordinary one.

Let the ordinary people carry on with their mundane lives.

To be the best on the planet in the mould of Jamaican juggernaut Usain Bolt you have to think like someone totally out of this world.

Yep, just like the blokes in lycra tights in the ultimate dash for glory.

They constantly have a twitch - forever fidgeting and habitually uptight.

Hawke's Bay physiotherapist Tony Snell, labelling them "twitchies", once aptly summed up the prima donnas: "Twitchies always have to have flashy gear. Labels are very important and hair gel is a must.

"You can always smell the twitchies coming - they've always got to have the right deodorants and things. They are the ones who put streaks in their hair and a cellphone is a must.

"If they lose their sunglasses it's the end of the world."

Winning silver or bronze will make these blokes sleep walk off a balcony. They will simply become first and second losers outside the golden halo of success.

Let's put that mindset in perspective.

Put yourselves in the tennis shoes of Maria Sharapova or Roger Federer.

Did you see what Serena Williams did to her Russia opponent in the women's final at the weekend?

What about Scotsman Andy Murray derailing the Fed Express 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 yesterday in the men's equivalent?

Williams didn't just beat Sharapova. The American humiliated her opponent, reducing the glamour girl to a spectator in the 6-0, 6-1 drubbing.

Ditto the Czech pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka who succumbed 6-4, 6-4 as Serena and her fatigued sister, Venus, toyed with them in the women's doubles final before Serena claimed a career "Golden Slam" of titles in all four major tournaments and the Olympics.

Do Sharapova or the ageing Swiss ace care about silver?

I think not. They would trade their metal in a heartbeat to avoid such an embarrassing flogging.

British sailor Andrew Simpson and crewman Iain Percy had to settle for silver in the men's star medal race yesterday after a rash of errors in the last race saw the Swede pair of Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen eclipse them.

A bitterly disappointed Simpson didn't smile. He emphasised he wasn't going to feel better for days. Perhaps, just perhaps, later on it may sink in what they did stepping up for their country.

Similarly the Australians' disgust is also understandable. Twelve silvers and seven bronze (as of last night) don't go any where near soothing the pain of a solitary gold.

The Olympics shouldn't be about embracing ordinary people.

It's an honour to be selected at the end of each country's cull to be part of a global village of weirdos - unequivocally exceptional at what they do best.

But South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius is where I draw the line.

I hear a collective sigh of relief as he finishes last in his 400m semifinals with his prosthetic strides for humankind.

What next? A boxer with carbon fibre arms pummels his way to gold and the world cheers?

- Hawkes Bay Today

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