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Our Olympians are not heroes and they're not brave!

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Tyfle Hour
yes, save those handouts for the lard arses, and future lard arses of our society who clog our hospitals because they don't believe in sport. :rolleyes:

 

All athletes start somewhere. Potential is seen and nurtured. If you stop your child from achieving their potential then YOU are the selfish one.

 

I don't think participation in elite sports means anything re: health long term. In fact, in many cases. I'd much rather see funding for grass roots sport and activities.

 

Anyway, I do see where you are coming from OP. The cliches are awful. But I do think they are individual athletes who could be called heroes, due to their particular circumstances and achievements, but just simple gaining a medal in a sport they love doesn't make someone a hero in my eyes. I need to hear their back story before I decide!

Edited by CleverChook

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JRA
If asked who my hero is the answer is my Mum. She is not heroic to you, the world or to the family next door but she is to me.

 

Why does being a hero have to be limited to a very narrow definition?

.

I couldn't imagine doing some of the things our athletes do, suffering some of the injuries, working through the pain to try and try again. Such dedication, hard work and then the willingness to represent our country for barely a pittance in $$ unless they happen to be one of the lucky few who get a sponsorship deal afterwards.

 

I agree.

 

We handed out Australian olympic singlets to all our U11/u9/minkey hockey players. The mails we got back from parents over the past two days make it very clear that those kids see the olympians as heroes and idols. Is that a bad thing.

 

I grew up thinking the show jumpers were heroes (even knowing all their bad ways) and people like Laurie Morgan from the 1960 Olympics (we were anti Roycrofts).

 

I am glad that was part of my childhood- yes they were heroes, and idols and even more.

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lishermide

All sorts of people can be heroes. Sporting heroes are very much in the public domain, hence they tend to get more recognition than our everyday heroes. Both types are deserving of being called heroes.

 

My two older children are very much inspired by their sporting heroes. They show them what is possible. They show them that everybody has bad days. They show them that there is value in hard work and dedication. I see so much that is good in this. Right now DD12 has had to give up her chosen sport of gymnastics due to serious injury, but watching gymnasts who have been through all sorts of injuries gives her hope that one day she might get back there. These people are heroes to her beyond a doubt.

 

DD10 has plans of being an Olympian. She may not make it, most don't. She's already started working towards her goal. I consider her brave for trying. And brave for falling down but getting back up for another go every time.

 

Brave heroes? Yes, many are.

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MotherClucker

Im sure the women competing for certain countries for the very first time in an Olympics EVER have become heroes to some of the girls back home.

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Ruf~Feral~es

I jsut posted the below quotes in another thread.

 

Tell me you do not have to be brave to go out there and swim in front of the world, when this is what your home media says about you for coming 4th!

 

http://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/london-ol...8-1226438262922

 

OUR failure to win a medal in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay is our greatest swimming disaster in a rich history that dates back to Fanny Durack winning gold at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.

 

 

From there they basically slipped backwards in front of our shattered eyes, with the French winning gold ahead of the US and Russia.
My bold.

 

I have watched the Olympics closely since Mexico City in 1968 and no individual or team has performed so far below expectations as the current Australian world champions did.

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mokeydoke

I disagree.

 

I just came from my DD1's athletics cluster carnival, not in the same league as the Olympics of course ;), but for her it took a lot of bravery to front up and compete at an interschool level.

 

Olympians have done that, then at district/state/national and international levels. Does the pressure decrease with each level, or does it increase? I think that they are very brave to put themselves out there, to compete in front of millions of people and to become a public figure (Leisel got a lot of negative press leading up to her performance in the pool, and she's got that to overcome as well). I certainly used their bravery and tenacity as an example to my DD this morning.

 

I would be more than happy for one of the Olympians to set an example, and be called a hero, by my children.

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BadCat
Sorry, I expressed myself inadequately. Spectator sport does nothing for society.

 

Nor does art. Shall we remove funding for the arts as well?

 

 

I love watching the olympics. I think the athletes are sometimes brave, sometimes inspiring, sometimes arrogant tossers. I could do without the cliches from the media but you must remember that the media is pandering to the lowest common denominator in most cases. Is the media to blame for the dumbing down of society or is society to blame for the dumbing down of the media?

Edited by BadCat

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Ruf~Feral~es
Is the media to blame for the dumbing down of society or is society to blame for the dumbing down of the media?

 

Media, all the way. They try to say they are "giving us what we want", but it is at the stage where there is limited choice.

 

Spectator sport does nothing for society.

 

I think that is quite a sad comment, actually. I'm not really into spectator sport, but I do enjoy going to a soccer game or two, and love the atmosphere of the crowd.

 

But what I also love is that my kids enjoy watching and playing sport. The camaraderie and experiences they gain from playing sport cannot be replicated. And part of that is garnered through watching sport at the elite level too - emulating favourite players, dreaming of being one themselves when they are playing outside by themselves, etc.

 

As I said, I'm not a great fan of watching sport, but I think the world would be a lesser place without it, as with art, music, etc.

 

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The Cat

I don't think this thread is in bad taste. I think it is a valid topical discussion. But then again, I did find STBG's thread on the Chamberlain's a while back to be in bad taste whilst I can appreciate it was also a valid topical discussion for other people. *shrugs*

Edited by The Cat

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peking homunculus
Nor does art. Shall we remove funding for the arts as well?

 

Not a bad idea. I'd rather we fund Gonski and public transport than sport and the arts.

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8LittleAustralians
Yeah, but they don't have to pay HECS on all their training at the AIS do they?

Unlike those who perform socially useful jobs, like doctors, teachers and

nurses, who all have to pay the government back for the cost of their training.

 

No, but they pay HECS on their degrees they did for the full time jobs they have PLUS the rather high costs of their training.

 

My husband's club and the association had to run several fund raising nights to help one of the athletes attempt to cover the cost of his training over the past few weeks. They may not have to pay for the uniforms and flights, but they don't get paid for lost wages and they certainly don't get paid for any of it.

 

Imagine how difficult it would be to just not work for 12 weeks while you are required to be in training camps. How would you pay for your bills and mortgage?

 

Not all Olympic athletes are 18 year olds living with mummy and daddy. Some have homes, jobs, families etc.

Edited by No Excuses

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casime
Most australian athletes work full time jobs in addition to the many hours of training they put in.

 

Yes, and so they should. I work hard at my sport, train every day, compete most weekends. But my sport is not one that is not classified as an Olympic sport, so I have to work to pay for my training, equipment, travel, competitions and just to keep a roof over my head. Participating in sport at an elite level is a choice, and not one that should be funded by the taxpayers.

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Liv_DrSperm_sh
Not a bad idea. I'd rather we fund Gonski and public transport than sport and the arts.

 

 

Oh god, what a boring world that would be!

 

I think we all agree that there are things that need to be funded so humans can function, but humans need to do more than exist! There are many things in this world that do not contribute to our survival....arts, movies, WINE, mini pies, spectator sport...actually any sport, togs, birkenstocks, toilet cleaner, BOOKS...

 

I'm not sure I would like to live in a world where we were only allowed those things essential for survival!

 

Lighten up man and enjoy a once every four years spectacle!

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la di dah
Oh god, what a boring world that would be!

 

I think we all agree that there are things that need to be funded so humans can function, but humans need to do more than exist! There are many things in this world that do not contribute to our survival....arts, movies, WINE, mini pies, spectator sport...actually any sport, togs, birkenstocks, toilet cleaner, BOOKS...

 

I'm not sure I would like to live in a world where we were only allowed those things essential for survival!

 

Allowed =/= funded with things other than voluntary contributions or the efforts of the participating.

 

I like sport, art, chocolate, wine, coffee, soft toilet paper... but I wouldn't say any of those are owed to me or are necessarily something that ethically should be budgeted for by the government while vitally needed things of other people wait on my wants.

 

I mean yeah if it were funded by the gold at the end of the rainbow that would be hella sweet but I haven't actually noticed everyone being down to only worrying about that stuff.

 

I don't support disallowing sport or art. I, in fact, love sport and art. I love the idea of endless budget for human spirit and creativity, in a Star Trek-style post-scarcity economy, but in real life it feels kinda gross when part of preparing for the Olympics is still "clear all those icky homeless people out of the line of sight."

 

I don't know if that makes sense.

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casime
think we all agree that there are things that need to be funded so humans can function, but humans need to do more than exist! There are many things in this world that do not contribute to our survival....arts, movies, WINE, mini pies, spectator sport...actually any sport, togs, birkenstocks, toilet cleaner, BOOKS..
.

 

You can have all those things. As long as you get off your a*se and work to pay for it for yourself. Do you really think the government should be funding your wine consumption??

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8LittleAustralians

The government funds a lot of programs and medicare claims related to peoples wine consumption!

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The Cat
.

 

You can have all those things. As long as you get off your a*se and work to pay for it for yourself. Do you really think the government should be funding your wine consumption??

 

 

funny you mention wine. Have a lookie here...

 

http://epress.anu.edu.au/anzsog/imp/mobile...es/ch05s06.html

 

"National Wine Centre, Adelaide

 

The National Wine Centre in Adelaide was conceived and built for the purpose of focusing national and international attention on the Australian wine industry and South Australia as a principal wine-growing and wine-making state (DiGirolamo and Plane, 2002). The business need as set out in the National Wine Centre Act 1997 (SA), stated that the purpose of the centre was to conduct a range of functions, ‘including the promotion and development of the Australian wine industry and the management of a wine exhibition (South Australia 2002). Under the Act a board of directors was established to control and direct the centre with the board responsible to the appropriate Minister.

 

Construction of the National Wine Centre in Adelaide was problematical enough with cost overruns and time delays, but those difficulties were overshadowed by the crippling losses that the Centre made on operations subsequent to its opening for business in early October 2001. Reports suggested that the centre was costing South Australian taxpayers $50,000 per week, despite major cost cutting measures (The Australian, 2 October 2002). The South Australian Treasurer, Kevin Foley described it as the ‘cash-burning’ National Wine Centre.

 

The original business need for the National Wine Centre could be questioned. Less than two years after its opening under State government ownership, operation of the debt-ridden facility was handed over to the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia. Eventually, on 1 July 2003, it was taken over by the University of Adelaide for $1 million on a 40 year lease.

 

This project highlights the issue that public ‘icon’ projects are frequently launched without an adequately identified business need. In fact, unlike private-sector projects, taxpayer funded projects are frequently conceived and defined to meet a political need or justification while the business need is cobbled together to ‘legitimise’ the expenditure of significant public funds. This is not to say that a political need is not legitimate, but the ‘what?’ and ‘why?’ questions must be clearly stated and agreed by all stakeholders if large, complex projects are to have any chance of proceeding successfully."

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Herebedragons
That is the beauty of the word though, it can be applied to many different people and many different situations.

 

Why does being a hero have to be limited to a very narrow definition?

 

The problem with this is that if a word can be equally applied to different situations, is that the word ceases to be useful in communication. If you mean something different by the word 'hero' than I mean, then we cannot have a meaningful conversation about heroism. I know that language and meaning evolves, but if the word 'hero' no longer conjures up the idea of putting oneself in danger to save another, then we need a new word to convey this.

 

I don't think athletes are heroes in this more traditional definition of the word.

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Liv_DrSperm_sh
.

 

You can have all those things. As long as you get off your a*se and work to pay for it for yourself. Do you really think the government should be funding your wine consumption??

 

 

Ummm, hell yeah I do!

 

On a more serious note. The Australian government spends 1.8% of its GDP on the military so around 26 BILLION. Health gets around 121 BILLION. Education is around 6% of the GDP.

 

In 2000-2001 the ABS reported that Australian government expenditure for sport was just over 2,214 million. That is ALL.

 

Just so we are clear, the Australian government does spend quite a bit of sport, BUT they are hardly diverting billions of dollars from important infrastructure to send athletes to the games!!

 

Perspective?

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Blondiebear
I know that language and meaning evolves, but if the word 'hero' no longer conjures up the idea of putting oneself in danger to save another, then we need a new word to convey this.

I don't know that the word hero ever had that meaning for me. That may be one type of heroism, but I think it evolved to include other types of courage and bravery long ago.

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Ruf~Feral~es
Do you really think the government should be funding your wine consumption??

 

That's what I was spending my FTB on, when I was getting it. I do think the government should compensate me for the behaviour of my DD - and they did, by helping me buy wine!

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peking homunculus
Ummm, hell yeah I do!

 

On a more serious note. The Australian government spends 1.8% of its GDP on the military so around 26 BILLION. Health gets around 121 BILLION. Education is around 6% of the GDP.

 

In 2000-2001 the ABS reported that Australian government expenditure for sport was just over 2,214 million. That is ALL.

 

Just so we are clear, the Australian government does spend quite a bit of sport, BUT they are hardly diverting billions of dollars from important infrastructure to send athletes to the games!!

 

Perspective?

 

They are diverting millions, not billions.

 

Still pretty hard to justify.

 

I am not a do not frolic kinda person. But funding elite sport so that athletes can make their Olympiuc dreams come true seems a bit misguided.

 

I can't imagine how p*ssed off people in the UK must feel. All that money on the Olympics when their economy is in the toilet. So wasteful to replicate these stadia every 4 years.

 

Perhaps a better idea is to build a set of world class facilities in Greece and make it the permanent home of the Olympics. Makes a lot more sense than cash spending spree we have at the moment.

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Pretz

OP- I could not agree with you more. It's insulting.

 

I'm so tired of sports people being described as heroes. You're right- It has devalued the meaning of the word.

 

 

 

 

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Sassenach2

I agree with the PPs who talked about footballers. I also hate football and the exultation of ordinary guys who can kick a football around. I would much rather put the Nobel prize winners up there. People like Charlie Teo, who saves many lives and research scientists who discover cures for dreadful diseases. These are the people who are the heroes, not the sports stars, who are only concerned with their own grandiose place on the podium. We had a footballer in our city, who was a criminal in his private life, but because he played football, he was held in high esteem. :rant:

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