Way back when.
In 1896 a young Australian man, Edwin Flack (born in London 1873 and migrating to Australia at age 5 with his parents) made and paid his way to Athens for the inaugural Games of the I Olympiad. He was a middle distance runner in amateur athletics in the colony of Victoria.
For the uneducated amongst us, Australia didn’t come into being until 1901, when the six seperate colonies agreed to unite and become the Commonwealth of Australia; but back to Mr. Flack.
Young Edwin was the sole Australian competitor, and he entered the 800 & 1500 metre races. On the second day of the games he won the 800m, and on the fourth day he won the gold in the 1500m. He also had a go at the tennis losing in the first round of the singles but making the semi finals in the doubles. There was no bronze medal for the third place getters in 1896.
I think it’s pretty fair to say that by and large Edwin Flack was kind of forgotten until the late 1990’s, with the approaching last games of the 20th century in Sydney, (they were the last of the 20th not the first of the 21st as is generally claimed).
In the 1990’s there was a great flurry to name sports grounds, streets, erect statues in his honour in his home colony/state of Victoria. I suspect it was because Sydney in the process of building the games site at Homebush Bay had named the premier street at their Olympic Park, Edwin Flack Avenue. Shamed the Vic’s! 😈
A leap through time.
To the last week or so.
There seems to have been an outcry of righteous indignation, finger pointing, accusations you name it it’s been flung at the Russians, for emulating people of the calibre of Lance Armstrong. But I’m not going into that I have little or no interest in the matter; but what’s spiked my interest is the way the media try to dig dirt and cause scandal.
One of Austrailias living legends/sports stars Raelene Boyle was asked the other day by the “media” whether she thought that the East German woman who beat her for first place in the 100 & 200 metre events at the Munich Olympics should have had the medals stripped because of drug use.
And Raelenes reply? No I’m happy with the silver, and the gold would have been big help to the East German girl’s way of life and future, which she didn’t need as she was an Aussie. She had also said earlier that the other woman would have beaten her anyway, without drugs.
A dying breed, worthy of our respect and admiration
10 thoughts on “Respect & admiration”
In these days an age, my assumption is that every athlete has some sort of specialized “help”. Rather than try and control it, I say let them go at it. Let’s see what chemical regimens can produce over the course of ten or twenty years.
Don’t think I’ll be around that long to watch.
That link I’m told when clicking on it that it is not available in my country! Odd for YouTube
I forgot . . . short attention span.
That’s probably blocked in Australia because it requires a sense of humor, and all you guys have is humour.
If interested, look around YouTube and see if anyone has popped it over. Also, I could go into how to spoof being elsewhere, but that too is probably well outside your attention span. Anyway, the gist of the video is that pretty much everyone does some sort of doping and that no one is actively trying to stop it.
Well I believe the last part, as for the humour bit I’d agree with what you say about the Australian humour, it’s pretty much as insipid as their Yankee cousins. Now for true humour one has to be English. 🙂
The era of sport purely for the honour of one’s team/city/region or country seems long gone. Now, at top levels, there are no true non-professionals.
As a lad growing up in Englnd it was always impressed upon us to ‘Play up play up and play the game’
Not only on the sporting fields but in all our endeavours.
Pretty old fashioned and old school now!
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Values which are in urgent need of reintroduction!
As much chance of that as I have of getting a new stomach XD sad to say
With the strides made in medical science, that may not be out of the question in due course. Reverting to previous values is probably a longer shot!
At 82 I think I’ll give it a miss, unless they want to use me for practice purposes: I have more chance of riding the winner of the Melbourne Cup than the IOC reverting, they’ll lose too much.