Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
The British media coverage of the Olympic Games has oscillated in a strikingly bi-polar fashion.
As with the World Cup in SA in 2010, the build-up was dominated by negative expectations: problems with security, congestion at the airports, traffic jams, even the weather.
When team GB failed to gain the early medals, the insular British press discredited the victors, especially the phenomenal Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen, even after she had been cleared in tests for doping.
In a blatant double-standard, no mention was made of Dwain Chambers, banned for life for doping, who managed a surprise re-entry into the British team after legal wrangles. But, once team GB began to accumulate medals, the media came out with all the patriotic clichés, Land of Hope and Glory, Golden Girls and even Queen Victoria (Pendleton).
Although the Games had now become “The Greatest Show on Earth”, virtually no attention was given to extraordinary outsiders, apart from Usain Bolt.
The BBC regularly interviewed any British finalist, even those who had not won medals, but ignored Sizwe Ndlovu, stroke of the SA rowing team, and the amazing gold medalists from Grenada and the Dominican Republic in truly prestigious events.
l Geoff Hughes is professor emeritus at Wits University.