A bit of poor health a while back resulted in me missing making a comment i wanted to make..
Well Done Michael Phelps! A truly remarkable achievement that no doubt great masses of us around the world heard about and admired you for. (Personally, having witnessed the 100m Butterfly live i can’t see how that was a gold medal performance, but History will forever say otherwise).
Few would believe anyone could come close to Mark Spitz’s record, let alone exceed it in a single meeting. Phelps’ is a name that will live long in Sporting History.
But does anyone know the name Michael Cowdrey? (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/07/2357481.htm?site=local)
Probably not – he’s an Aussie. He’s also a Paralympian – not an Olympian athlete. He was at the Beijing games as a swimming competitor.
He wanted to emulate Michael Phelps.
He only won five gold and three silver medals.
No-one will recall his name by next week.
Anyone remember Usain ‘lightening’ Bolt from Jamaica? World record time and gold medal in the 100m, 200m individual Sprints and Gold with a new WR in the 4 x 100m relay – never been done before in Olympic history? Sure you do.
How about the name Heath Francis? Another Aussie. He only won three individual Gold medals at Beijing in the 100m, 200m and 400m T46 Men’s Sprints, setting two World records in the process and did it with only one arm. he also got the Bronze medal in the 4 x 100m relay for Australia He ‘bolted it in’, but hear of him? Hardly.
Evan O’Hanlon?? Team-mate to Heath? He only won his 100m, 200m and 4x 100m T38 races – with a World record time in all three – exactly like Usain Bolt but with one leg missing below the knee.
Anyone jumping up to offer him a million dollars or so? I don’t think so.
I only got to hear about these amazing individuals because i live in Australia and watch my news reports carefully.
I don’t for a second believe that other country’s Paralympic athletes have not had their own unbelieveable victories (like the Swimmer, i think from China, who hits the wall pad to stop the clock with HIS HEAD! because he has no arms. Or The unbelievable wheelchair athlete from Canada, Chantal Peticlerc, a total of 5 golds in track this games for a total of 14G,5S,2B lifetime tally) my point here being these performances are no less amazing than their ‘able’ bodied counterparts, yet their fame and their rewards are without doubt – second class.
Any ‘sportsmen’ out there prepared to take some of their multi-million dollar contracts and put it into rewarding true super-human efforts? Or any promoters prepared to do these heroes justice?
Have a think about that next time you go to a sporting ground and pay your money to the Administrators/sponsors… or watch a multimillion dollar broadcast.
Remember where the money goes… and remember where it doesn’t go.
Remember the names Michael Cowdrey and Chantal Petticlerc.
And remember those names who don’t end up in the news headlines also.