Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sour grapes ...

As London 2012 draws to a close we celebrate success and commiserate with those competitors who didn’t perform to the level they would have wished. There are many instances of excellence, Bradley Wiggins, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Jess Ennis, Mo Farrah, Ben Ainslie, Chris Hoy to name but a few. Excellence doesn’t always mean winning gold. Securing a personal best or getting to an Olympic final is also worth celebrating.

I'm saddened by the reaction of French team director Isabelle Gautheron who hinted that Britain’s success is down to illegal technology rather than the dominance of the riders. L’Equipe ran a poll asking the same question with 70% of the respondees agreeing that GB success was down to cheating. You can see the poll and responses here.
GB performance director Dave Brailsford wound up a gullible French interviewer by joking that “specially round wheels” were the key to Britain’s gold rush in the Velodrome! Incidentally the wheels are made by Mavic, a French company. The Mavic website details the success of their technology which is also available to other countries.
I wondered whether to question if Renaud Lavillenie, the brilliant French pole vaulter who so deservedly won gold on Friday, perhaps had springs in a  ‘magic pole’. However, I thought this might smack of sour grapes and detract from what had been a magnificent performance.

Methinks that a country with a reputation, par excellence, for doing such wonderful things with grapes should know that sour grapes doth not the best wine make…

  Gaynor x   (glass in hand and tongue in cheek ;o)

14 comments:

  1. Hello Gaynor:
    Oh dear, clearly 'its not the winning its the taking part' is not a motto for the French!

    Yes, a touch of sour grapes, so not a vintage year!!

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    1. Hi Jane and Lance,

      I love your 'not a vintage year' description!

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  2. I also think it's a shame that the French are such bad losers...and unfortunately I don't think they'll ever change. They can't stand being beaten by a Brit.
    I live full time in the south of France and most of my friends are French,none of them have mentioned the olympics.

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    1. Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Perhaps it is a particularly sensitive area for the French as cycling is generally a much more high profile sport - both with spectators and participants.

      I guess a lot of us British cycling fans are fairweather ones.

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  3. Never mind the French losing - imagine the recriminations and soul-searching that will be going on in Australia. The entire nation will clearly have to reinvent itself (and maybe not spend quite so much of the taxpayers money on sporting celebraties). Susan (who has always had an un-Australian attitude to sport and famously can't ever name sports personalities or where they are from).

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    1. It will no doubt be similar to what went on in Britain after Atlanta.

      Look on the positive side, you might not be able to identify sporting celebrities but you can identify so many animals and plants. In life which is of most practical use?

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    2. Quite frankly, in terms of daily life, being able to identify sporting celebrities would be seen by most people as a much more useful and relevant skill.

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    3. I'm not so certain. Being able to identify David Beckham wouldn't prevent me from eating dodgy mushrooms or identifying which brand of pesky mosquito had bitten me!

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  4. In response to Susan's comment - I bet even you, Susan, who claim not to be able to identify sporting celebrities, know who Mo Farrah is!

    A 'friend' of mine asked the question on Facebook "who's Mo Farrah?" Now at that I despair!!

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    1. I'd never heard of him before these Olympics, and doubt I would recognise a picture of him. I can tell you that he is black, male, some sort of runner (not sure what length), won his race (defending his title?), born somewhere like Sudan and came to Britain as a child refugee. That's as much as I have picked up in the last fortnight.

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  5. I didn't know about this.
    Sour grapes never do anyone any credit. To be a gracious loser is far better.

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    1. I agree. After Atlanta where team GB only managed one gold medal we've come a very long way. I'd like to think that our particular brand of 'fair play' means that it's been achieved off the back of meticulous preparation, effort and ability.

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  6. magic pole.... oeer missus! fnarr fnarr

    sorry...

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    1. I did wonder when I was writing it ...

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