The sporting world has come a long way in the last few decades, losing a lot of its old prejudices and practices. But as soon as it comes to the medals ceremonies I find my hackles rising . Invariably the athletes – tough, determined men and women who have pushed their minds and bodies to levels most of us can only dream of – are greeted not by fellow or former athletes, but by a parade of perfectly matched, perfectly groomed, smiling ladies, often scantily clad in short skirts and high heels.
I’m talking, of course, about the medal bearers.
These ones, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, were at least modestly clad, but at some events it all starts to get a bit, well, Benny Hill. Now I don’t want to get all po-faced on you, but it just doesn’t seem right at a modern sporting event for any official to be sporting a look that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1970s game show.
What’s the alternative, then? Rowing kit supplier, Rock the Boat, has suggested having local cubs and brownies to bear the medals, though some say the medals couldn’t be entrusted to anyone so young.
What do you think? If you have views or ideas on the subject – even if you reckon I’m just being a grumpy old woman – comment below and let me know what you think.
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The chances are that if you’re not a rower and you don’t listen to Radio 5 live, you won’t be aware of the dramas that have been unfolding in the last week on a picturesque lake in Bled, Slovenia (which, incidentally, has now been added to my Must Visit list – what a stunningly beautiful place). If you don’t know about it, I’m here to bring you up to date, because I think it’s a shame that more people haven’t heard the good news.
Whilst the eyes of the world have been turned towards Bolt’s false starts and Mo Farah’s gold medal, Britain’s rowers have been quietly proving themselves in the World Rowing Championships, coming top in the medal table with an extraordinary total of seven golds, three silvers and four bronzes, and setting themselves up nicely for 2012 (which makes me even sadder that I didn’t manage to get any tickets). Why the BBC website has rowing hidden away under “Other Sports” I can’t understand; our rowers are amongst our most successful and impressive athletes.
The championships weren’t without their ups and downs. There were last minute surges, photo finishes, illnesses in the squad and the odd disappointment, but the medal haul established GB once again as a force to be reckoned with.
If you missed all the fun, you can catch up here. Oh, and don’t rule out Slovenia for your next holiday.
LM2x gold L to R Zac Purchase Mark Hunter 2011 World Champs in Bled. Photo by Intersport Images/GB Rowing Team
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