Sour grapes from Down UnderComment on this story
Cameron van der Burgh is a cheat. That’s right, folks, according to some obscure publication, the world record breaker and SA’s first gold medal winner at this year’s Olympics managed to fool all into securing first place.
His supposed transgression?
Using what’s commonly known as a dolphin kick (or, in complex professional terms, “flipper-ising”) which allows a competitor to remain under water for greater lengths of time, thereby adding extra “vooma” to his speed-swimming skills.
The article goes on to say Cameron reportedly admitted to the tactic, brazenly justifying his actions with an “all the other kids are doing it” type argument.
And if you’re wondering why Fina (the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronised swimming and open water swimming) didn’t immediately revoke his medal on hearing the news, the ever-so- clever writer behind the editorial suggests: “It’s probably because it’s less controversial to let swimmers get away with it, than it is to kick someone out of an Olympic final.”
Yes, that must be it. Better to fly in the face of every carefully controlled restriction regulating sports at an Olympic level and allow contestants to erroneously take the titles, than to risk potential embarrassment.
Couple this entertaining titbit (albeit in an incredulously laughable kind of way) with Oscar Pistorius’ supposedly bionic blades, as well as the “he-or-she?” controversy that still swirls around poor Caster Semenya, and our sportsmen and women could spawn their very own soap opera!
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the publication in which the story about Cameron appeared is Australian.
After all, if our arch nemesis over in kangaroo country is to be believed, the only way we could ever possibly outclass them in the sporting arena is through fraudulent means.
Anyone else experiencing the distinct taste of sour grapes?
Still, at least the stars are on Team SA’s side.
It’s hard not to notice when a man missing the bottom half of both his legs takes to the track, much less when he does so at the world’s greatest able-bodied sports gathering!
But our Blade Runner’s physical limitations aside, it’s his “can do” spirit that has captured the world – and Celebville’s – imagination:
Personalities including the likes of Samuel L Jackson, Justin Bieber, Denise Richards, Mario Lopez and Piers Morgan took to Twitter following Oscar’s performance at the games on Sunday, with comments along the lines of: “What an inspiration”; “I don’t care who you are – that’s moving!” and “SA runner is a true example of human determination. Rock on, dude!”.
So while he may not have made it all the way to the final, ol’ Oscar will undoubtedly be singled out as one of the games’ highlights during this weekend’s closing ceremony. And with so many Hollywood heavyweights now whispering his name, who knows?
There could just be another Blade Runner blockbuster in the making.
LARA DE MATOS