Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Whats in an accolade?

Today i got to thinking about what the Olympics is really about. There will be millions of people tuning in, or turning up, for world’s greatest display of athletes and sports men/women. Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Michael Phelps, Bradley Wigins,  Tashmina  Kohistani to name but a few.

 But wait a minute.... Bolt, yes we all know him world 100 meter record holder. Ennis, the babe of British athletics and world champion Heptathlete (and may I say a bit of alright). Phelps is a legend in the world of swimming and a multi millionaire to boot. Bradley Wiggins the name on every cyclist lips this last week after winning the highest accolade in road cycling the Tour De France. And finally  Tashmina  Kohistan ........who? Yes I said Tashmina  Kohistan, Afghanistan's only female athlete. Well why not throw her name into the hat? She trains as hard as the others, in fact for Tashmina, I would say training is far more difficult  than all of the others. Her best time is 15 seconds for the 100 meters, which is 4 seconds slower than the world record, and in 100 meter terms that is an absolute chasm.

 But wait a minute.....which of the above named athletes will be thinking this is the pinnacle of their careers? I would again say that it’s Tashmina. She has a dream of making the Final of the 100 meters, no not to win the 100 meters but to merely make the final. In reality she has not got a prayer, but the Olympic dream is there none the less. I don’t want to seem like I have disrespect for the richer ethletes. This is not the case. Wiggins winning gold would be great for him I am sure, but it won’t compare with the winning of the Tour De France. If Roger Federer  wins the Olympic gold medal, it will merely be the icing on a very large cake.

 In my opinion for the big names of the Olympics, money talks. And winning the Olympics is a way to enhance their earning potential. OK so it may be the highest accolade in some of the sports, but other sports hardly ever mention Olympic winners. Take football for instance, now who were the last Olympic champions?? We know who won the world cup, but no idea who are reigning Olympic champions? I mention again Tennis, the height of a tennis players career is a win at Wimbledon I would say. And finally Basketball, playing in the NBA is the height of any player’s career. In fact one of the British teams NBA players couldn't even be bothered to turn up for the Olympic squads training camps.

 This brings me to my point what’s in an accolade? Well for some, the Olympic champion accolade is the absolute height of their careers. Nothing they could ever do afterwards would surpass what they achieved. For others the Olympic Games is a break from them earning their usual £70,000 per week wages. Their coaches/teams think it’s an inconvenience that they compete in the games.

 I hope and pray that some of the lesser know athletes of the world can reach their pinnacle and stand on the podium to collect a medal. As for Tashmina, i hope she gets her Olympic dream, but reality will be that she will not. She will however always have the accolade that she competed in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Good luck and god bless.

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