Totally didn’t see this one coming (not!). Australia’s rowdiest rower Josh Booth has been dropped from the Australian Olympic team and sent packing after majorly fucking up in his tracksuit.
Booth made headlines yesterday after going on a drunken rampage, kicking in shop windows and fainting while in police custody. The 21 year old fronted the media this morning with a fresh cut, a killer hangover and a tear in his eye and a quiver in his voice. He read the following from a prepared statement (via ABC news):
“I’m deeply ashamed of my actions on Wednesday night. They do not in any way reflect the values in which I hold, the type of person I am, or the type of person I aspire to be. The behaviour was uncharacteristic, but nonetheless I fully respect and accept the reprimand of the IOC and I’ll regret my behaviour for many years to come.
As a young athlete, I have made a very grave and public mistake by not dealing with the emotional surfeits of a competition in an appropriate and healthy manner.
I hope this mistake can serve as a lesson to the Australian athletes still competing at the Games; seek help and properly deal with all the extreme emotions associated with competition and of course consume alcohol carefully.”
As big an idiot as Booth was to behave in this way, you’ve got to feel just a little bit sorry for him: he’s 21, at the top of his game and he suffered a bitterly disappointing loss, and like most 21 year old guys in his situation would do, he turned to substance abuse to numb the pain. I think there’s a pretty important lesson in this for all of us, regardless of gender: don’t be a dick, and especially don’t be a boozed up dick in your national uniform. Oh yeah, and seek help, talk through your feelings, be responsible etc.
Poor Rowing Australia too, those guys just can’t catch a break/don’t take things lying down.
Photo by Damien Meyer for Getty Images Sport.