Sport and politics doesn’t mix and other NZ bullshit
NZ Olympic flame bearer not concerned about protests
A Hamilton man due to carry the Olympic flame through Canberra tomorrow says he expects any protests to be peaceful.
Aaron Fleming, 24, will be one of 80 sports stars, community leaders and unsung heroes to carry the flame through the streets of the Australian capital. Fleming overcame a serious lung ailment as a teenager to train and become a competitive ironman, raising thousands of dollars for charity in the process. He won the right to carry the flame for New Zealand after a nationwide search last year.
You don’t represent me mate, as Tracey Barnett wrote in her open letter to NZ Olympians in the Herald yesterday,
We have four months until the Olympic games. New Zealand Olympians, where are you? Have you lost your voice, or just not found it yet? Whether you like it or not, from the moment you make it to that elite core of athletes who will take to the world stage, you carry a huge responsibility. You started because you loved the sport. But you ended up as a role model in this country with a public voice you may never have asked for, or honestly anticipated.
She does an amazing job of pointing out that our athletes have a moral responsibility to protest at the actions of the Olympic Host and that effort is as important as their focus on the sporting field – to do anything other than that, to silently compete devalues everything they have worked for and junks any success, very much the way Mark Inglis lost all mana when he climbed Mt Everest but left another mountaineer to die on the summit.