Saturday, March 01, 2014

Snowboarder of the day

Ah, yes. Chumpy Pullin. The snowboarder so rad (or is that "gnarly"?) they named a song after him.

(Actually the song came first, but chronology is just a bourgeois construct.)

He carried the flag for Australia at the Winter Olympics. He was our gold medal hope. He crashed out in the quarter finals. He was subjected to media obloquy. Did he ask for any of it? We are so quick to put our sporting heroes up on a pedestal, and even quicker to sink the boot in when they don't live up to our inflated armchair expectations. It would be nice if commentators (amateur as well as professional) sometimes thought before they spoke/wrote, and kept in mind that there is a human being, with all of a human being's usual vulnerabilities and frailties, behind the media image.

And anyway, not that I know anything about snowboarding, but the four-man snowboard cross looks more like a crapshoot than a sporting event: how well you do seems to depend more on what happens to the person in front of you than on your own skill. Roll on 2018.

"Chumpy", by The Clean.