It was pretty bad when trollnonymous* journalists thought they had license to publish and criticise Leisel Jones for no longer having the physique of the 14 year old she once was. It also kinda sucked when All The Australians wanted to lynch our swimmers for failing to meet the gold-plated expectations of the once legendary Australian medal tally of Olympiads gone. And now in news more likely than any to send our swimmers into an emotional binge eating frenzy, Australian swimming boss Leigh Nugent has taken aim at the globally envied ‘Australian Lifestyle‘ and blamed our way of life for Australia’s sunken medal tally.
News.com.au reports that Nugent told Susie O’Neill, “We live in a society where people look for the easy way… We don’t have 1.3 billion people like China. We have a small population and most sports are looking for the same thing we are looking for in terms of athletes. Fat cats don’t fight; they sleep in front of the fire. And there are no fat cats in China. Most of our girls, the Aussie girls, are carrying too much weight.”
What’s with all the fat bashing, Swimming Australia? Australia’s medal tally in the pool so far stands at a ‘modest’ eight and earlier this morning, the world’s highest functioning stoner and Subway advocate Michael Phelps extended his already incredible winning streak with a 17th gold medal in the 50m freestyle, while Eamon Sullivan (above, “I just have something in my eye, promise“) finished last in the event that Australia’s preliminary posterboy/Chosen One, James Magnussen, failed to qualify for.
It just goes to show that no matter how many magazine and newspapers you cover, sometimes you just can’t compete with people like Phelps; people whose name is often appended with some arrangement of the following words: ‘Greatest,’ ‘Olympian,’ ‘Of,’ ‘All,’ and ‘Time‘.
Regardless, everyone still seems to be looking for someone, somewhere or something upon which to apportion the blame for this supposedly lacklustre performance, and it looks like Nugent has found the perfect scapegoat to pin the blame on: the rest of us.
While we may be an increasingly obese nation of lazy ‘fat cats’, these athletes are still amongst the best in the world and as such don’t deserve to have the supposed inadequacies of ‘our lifestyle’ hoisted upon them, just so someone like Nugent can deflect attention from for their own short comings, whatever they may be.
Either way, just let the poor swimmers swim, okay Leigh? Please don’t deprive us of that – it’s all us fat cat underachievers have left.
*Not actually a word but spellcheck doth not protest.
Photo by Adam Pretty for Getty Images Sport