As the dust starts to settle and allegations are rampant, our swimmers did not live up to expectations, I have to say WHOSE expectations ?

Each and every competitor at the Olympics has spent 4 years or more training for a shot of olympic glory, and if one of these doesn’t come back with a medal the media harpoons them, the public are disappointed in them and the Government is angry at them because they can’t bask in their glory.

So let’s get this right

  • the competitor is the only person that can feel upset, disappointed, or pleased with their performance, they have been training hours every day for years, many earning below minimum wage and, we dare to be anything except proud of them, then we should hang our heads in shame.
  • While on the minimum wage issue it is not easy for these competitors to find jobs that can afford to support them when they need to train so much.  Apparently many have to survive on less than $20,000 a year.
  • Of course though, despite the massive amounts of Federal Government funds spent on the sport and a salary close to $500,000 a year for Australian Olympic Committee chief John Coates.  Where are HIS Gold medals for that amount of money.  It is ridiculous.
  • Of the 47 Australian swimmers in London, 36 made less than the minimum wage.
  •  Swimming Australia collected $5.9 million in corporate sponsorships and $8 million in Australian Sports Commission grants last year, so where did this money go ?  I would have thought providing relief payments to the swimmers may well have helped in the lead up to the Olympic Games.  And what about the supposedly generous $38, 000, 000 the Federal Government gave through gritted teeth to Swimming?  Again this leaves unanswered questions.  Not of our swimmers, but of swimming Australia, and the Executives pay packets for a start.

Swimming Australia in the lead-up to London after officials decided to pay the 47 swimmers $10,000 each out of the organisation’s $5.9 million sponsorship money and offer bonuses of up to $15,000 extra for world-beating performances.  This is not what the swimmers need, apart from if they were offering $10,000 to the swimmers on a continuous basis, that would help a little.

Look at the top countries, they don’t have swimmers trying to eke out a living while under competitive training,  they are provided for, so they can concentrate on the training.

I am a purist.  I still believe the Olympics should be a amateur event, which negates a lot of what I said, except, our swimmers, or at least 36 of them are struggling the way amateurs do, and swimming for pride in their country.  The trouble here is they are swimming against professionals now, who do not struggle to survive, they can just concentrate at hard training.  This is why it is time to address the abnormalities that exist rather than for one moment daring to be disappointed in our achievements during the Olympics.

Mull this over, in Australia, I will back down from a word of it, for our overseas friends I am not attacking you, I am using your example of what we need to do.

As an addendum I will add the money this Government throws at Overseas, and yet almost ignores the need of citizens in their own country, here is an example:

  • $39.3 million over four years for Australia’s pre-eminent national collecting institutions
  • $1.5 million to support capital works for the creation of the Islamic Museum of Australia in the heart of Melbourne and $2 million to create the Antipodes Centre for Greek Culture, Heritage and Language in Melbourne.”
  • $64.1 million over four years to secure jobs in the arts, cultural heritage and creative industries in Canberra.
  • $578.4 million for Indonesia
  • $1.16 billion for PNG and Pacific Islands in 2011-12, and represents almost 25 per cent of total Australian ODA.
  •  $465 million – $625 million for Africa and the Middle east
  • $47.7 million Carribean and Latin America
  • $1.32 billion - $1.95 billion to East  Asia – Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Greater Mekong, Laos, Mongolia, North Korea, Regional East Asia, Philippines, Vietnam
  • $525 - $725 million to South and West Asia – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Regional South Asia, Sri Lanka