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Football And The Olympic 'Spirit'
Jeroen (Barcelona) 4 years ago
Yeah, quite a lot of attention on the Olympian vs. Footballer matter has been devoted in our newspapers as well. And I just shrug and carry on when I read it to be honest. Clearly, because sub-top athletes are less paid than sub-top footballers (supply and demand, anybody?), athletes must really love their job and be noble and just, while footballers are just lucky twats, often unprofessional and cheats on the pitch...
Matt (Footytube Staff) 4 years ago
I enjoyed the Olympics a lot. It was impossible not to get swept up and carried along on the wave of appropriate patriotism. Hell I even punched the air when an incredibly posh man achieved gold by riding a horse over and around what looked to be an oversized arts n craft set set out by a three year old.

I did watch the football but it really took second place to all the other events and the wonderful stories that came along with them and the outpouring of emotion.

The Olympics has now ended and the sports focus is now placed on the upcoming domestic football seasons. Certain sections of the media have been very quick to try and compare and contrast the attitude and behaviour of the athletes from the Olympics with those of professional footballers. It has quickly come to the following assumptions.

Olympic Athlete = Honest, Proud, Noble.
Footballer = Cheat, Prima Dona, Overpaid.

I would argue that all these traits can be displayed in both sets of athletes. For example one of the team GB cyclist admitted that he ditched his bike on purpose to get a restart as he was not happy with his start. The female shot put gold winner was stripped of her medal after being found guilty of drug taking (not the only drug taker but the only medal winner).

In one broad sweeping stroke the media has declared that the game of football is rotten to it's very core and it is not only the players that have come under focus but the fans themselves who are now seen as vile pond scum (except those fans that went to the Olympic football, those are fine).

The main area of focus is the pride and joy shown by Olympians when they win compared to the same reaction when a footballer wins. Comparing these two emotive states is ridiculous and impossible. Aside from the fact that comparing any two people being faced by the same situation is pointless you also have to look at the journey. Ask any Gold winning Olympian what the highlight of their career is and they will undoubtedly say 'Winning Gold'. Ask a top footballer their highlight and you will get a multitude of answers ranging from League title wins to World Cup victories.

So before we get caught up in the latest media trend let us not forget that both sports are made up of individuals who react differently to their victories. Yes there is a problem in football with diving and feigning injury and yes some fans still do have some way to go before they are 100% child friendly. Do not let that take away from the skill, pride and passion that is displayed by the majority on the pitch on a weekly basis. In the same way you would not let drug cheats sully honest athletes achievements.

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