Monday, 30 July 2012

James Magnussen (hopefully) learns a lesson in humility: why it's dumb to brag before you've got the gold medal around your neck

The Missile disarmed

Australia's great white hope (not shark) in the pool James Magnussen displayed all the braggadacio of an Alpha male gorilla after his team won its heat in the men's 4x100 meter freestyle relay at the London Olympics yesterday. 

Watching this from the lounge at home, I felt a twinge of embarrassment after he said something to the effect of: it was easy, I didn't really even try and I've got heaps of fuel left.

He went on to say that he calls it like it is. Fair enough. But why not temper that confident comment with some good old Aussie humility? Balance it out with something like but we shouldn't rest on our laurels, you never know how much tiger the other teams have in their tanks

Now Magnussen is licking his wounds, his team having placed 4th after France, USA and Russia in the final. 

I know 'The Missile' is young and has an enormous amount of pressure riding on him. Some Aussies have said that he doesn't deserve the flak from commentators. I just checked in to Facebook, where my coach Mr Mean and his groupies are carrying on about Magnussen being a big man for copping the blame. So he should. 

Sure, he's worked hard. But he's reaping the benefits financially and he needs to take responsibility for the stuff ups.

During a radio interview this morning former Olympian Lisa Curry said Magnussen and his team mates were mucking around before the final so it was no wonder the other teams were pissed off. This failure to place will have hopefully taught Magnussen 'The Missile' and his mates about the importance of good sportsmanship. 

Australians* have dominated for so long in the pool but they can no longer afford to behave like winning is a given as numerous other countries emerge as contenders for gold.

I'm just trying to call it like it is.

*Of course, the USA and The Netherlands have also played a big role in swimming over the past decade.  

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