Cathy Freeman today announced her retirement. This was a hot topic on e-mail, as can be seen below :
First, Bono gave his spiel:
yes she was a good runner, won gold at Sydney,
but it wasn't against her no.1 competitor who went home,
If Cathy wasn't Aboriginal would she of had the profile that she has today,
If she wasn't Aboriginal would she of lite the Olympic Flame
I can think of far better CHAMPIONS that could of ................ Dawn Fraser for 1,
and I don't care if he wasnt an Olympian ............ Sir Don Bradman,
Anyway I just think she is too scared to compete and was lucky to win Sydney because of the absence
My thought is that AU is pretty light on when it comes to track and field, so anyone who is a chance at gold or world champion will generally get a bit of exposure. Cathy certainly had ZERO personality when it came to media interaction (maybe just shy - or maybe an idiot - who knows), so there's been a few other factors at play for sure.
..and just quietly, I think one W. S. Peters Esq. should have lit the flame for his contribution to regional Australian cricket. The trouble with the mechanix would have been handled better than an idiot sanding there getting cold. W.S.P would have handled it thus:
i) Realised some shit was up with the f*cker.
ii) Waited patiently for 2 seconds. Still not working.
iii) 'F*ck this'....brain ticking over -> realised he was a pissed as a parrot from the 2 bottles of scotch quickly sculled to calm the nerves; *bing* - has an idea.
iv) Brewed the biggest loogie possible, which would undoubtedly be laden with alchohol.
v) Aimed for the cauldron. Lit his lighter just in front of his mouth.
vi) Hawked that loogie through the flame, which set it alight.
vii) Loogie landed right in the cauldron and set the sucker alight.
viii) Standing ovation from 120 000 people present, and more than three quarters of the 3.6 billion people watching on tele, thus rendering W.S.P the single most popular person in the world for a few minutes.
ix) W.S.P unfazed by the attention, pokes his head underneath where the engineers are still trying to fix the shit and says:
"I don't know who you are, but you're f*cked"
The one mistake Cathy made was trying to attempt to continue after the Olympics. Everyone in Australia knew she'd never be able to come back after a year's layoff, and achieve more than she already had.
2 Commonwealth Gold medals
2 World Championship Gold Medals
1 Silver and 1 Gold Olympic Medals
Yeah - she's a great, and deserves all she has. You can only run against who is around, and for near on 8 years, she was either number 1 or number 2 in the world. That's better than any Australian track and field athlete since Raylene Boyle in the 70's.
Should she have lit the Olympic flame? Well, that was always going to be a political decision, no matter who it was. There probably were better qualified people to do so - and Dawn Fraser is close to the top of that list - but the actual spectacle of the last relay around the track, with all the women athletes, was pretty well done.
I'm just glad she's retired now. Jana Pittman is coming on strong, and deserves all of Australia's support without the burden of a Cathy Sympathy vote leading up to Athens next year.
That's my two cents worth.
So, I'm home to watch the Origin for the first time this year. I'm in front of the TV - and after ten minutes, the score is 12-0 - to Queensland. That was it. I turned over to Law & Order, which is a pretty fair indication of how much I'm hating the footy, because I've never actually watched Law & Order before. Turns out it's pretty good! I may tape it each week now...
Queensland won 36-6, but I didn't see any more of the game.
Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer were all on The Panel too, which was great! They are out here promoting their new film, A Mighty Wind, which opens next week. Looking forward to it.
The best part of the show was when Glenn Robbins insisted that Harry put on his Montgomery Burns voice - I couldn't stop laughing for five minutes. It must be great to be able to do all those voices, and have people recognise the characters they are...
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