Some things we notice… Some we don’t.

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? (

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 failed

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.

That Sucks!

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.



  1. Great post!
    Along that topic, have you heard of Nick Vujicic?
    His website is
    and his story is unbelievable and an amazing testimony to God!

    He’s an Aussie too I believe, though I couldn’t find that info. on the website (just looking briefly). We watched his whole video, but have it loaned out to someone else at the moment.

    Also, I was so appreciative that one of the commercials for the Olympics (here in the US anyway — I think it was Coke) showed scenes of award ceremonies for the Special Olympics as well as the ‘regular’ (able-bodied/minded) ones.

    Thanks for the reminder.



  2. It was very disappointing how little coverage the Paralympics received.

    I am thrilled that the Paralympics has had such spectacular growth, from just 400 athletes in Rome in 1960 to over 4,000 this year.

    It is advertising dollars that determine the amount of media coverage an event will have. When the advertisers believe that Michael Cowdrey can sell as many shoes and cars as Michael Phelps can then the Paralympics will get the coverage it deserves.

    Mark your calendars, the Winter Paralympics will be held in Vancouver, Canada, in 2010. Love, do Aussies do much skiing? 🙂


  3. Laz! nice to hear from you once more :-). Yes Nick Vujicic is an Aussie, but his profile here is not anywhere near that of ‘Big Brother’ housemates or our (or even American) ‘Idols’ or dancers who can think, i think? 🙂 Not in ‘mainstream’ media at least.

    Ed – So if i read you right Ed ( and i am completely sure we agree on this) media does not determine what we watch, rather it is the marketing managers of major corporations (who have the most spending dollars) who invest it mainly in the areas they believe will give them the greatest return on their advertising dollar?

    Which basically means what we choose to watch most (from the previously ‘manufactured’ choice available) is what we get ‘most’ of.

    It comes down to what we choose to watch in the largest numbers.

    It then turns into a vicious circle that what we watch is broadcast more and has more money drawn to it ( at the expense of the ‘minor’ events) and because of that it is able to produce ‘better’ and more performances on TV so that more and more people watch so more money is spent, etc.

    Seems to me an intelligent media and corporate advertising executive would see the logic of giving a greater choice and evening out the financial rewards to the ‘lesser’ events/sportsmen/artists etc.

    Yet this doesn’t happen?

    And most of the population quietly goes along with the obscene inequality?

    I think, ultimately, it comes back to all of us to ‘fix’ that.

    Hence my post. I believe you feel pretty much the same?


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