More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Comm Games: Jana Pittman, Drama Queen or Queen of Track

I went to the Commonwealth Games on Thursday to watch possibly the race of the Athletics program, the Jana Pittman 400m women's hurdles. After all the media frenzy and attention surrounding the race, what would happen was anyone's guess. Jana Pittman had risen to fame when she famously came from behind to win the world championships. Then she went into the Athens Olympics as one of the favourites, but a knee injury during training would change everything. Her whole dramatic and very public recovery from knee surgery would change the public's view of her. Instead of being the darling of Australian Athletics and being touted as the next Cathy Freeman, people were now calling her a drama queen and attention seeker. She went on to finish 5th at the Olympics, a good result in itself but not what the public had wanted.

In the lead up to the Commonwealth Games, she had another very public spat with Tamsyn Lewis, her fellow 400m relay runner. However, most of the blame for the spat was aimed at Jana. There is a couple of reasons for this,
a) As my friend Justin says, people are more sympathetic to a pretty blonde, which Tamsyn definitely is,
b) Australians love to raise their athletes to a high level but when they get too high, the public get tall-poppy syndrome and love to cut them back down,
c) The media focused on Jana because they knew that would sell papers and magazines. Jana is a world class athlete who can win the big events and Aussies always love a winner. Tamsyn on the other hand hasn't even made a major championship final.

As history would show, Jana handled all the pressure and won the Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles in a Games record time. The crowd didn't boo her at all but instead cheered her right from when she entered the stadium to when she finished her victory lap. For about a minute, that whole stadium of 83,000 was united in their support for Jana and concentrated on the race. All other things were forgotten as the deafening support from the crowd was aimed towards Jana. With about 100 metres to go, the sound of the stadium was so loud it sent goosebumps on my skin. This is what sport is about, striving to do your best rather than the media circus surrounding it.

I think Jana has proven that she is the Queen of the Track definitively. Whether she is a Drama Queen, only she will truly know. Some like my friend Kin thinks she is a drama queen and do not like her. But we are only judging her by how the media is portraying her. Were all the stories surrounding her of her own make to get more attention or was it the media that came up with it all, only Jana will know. I respect her for being a great world class athlete and hope that she can win gold at Beijing with the full support of the Australian public.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jana is really whiny little brat.
If she wins Gold in Beijing she'd cry a river and they'll have to shoot her in case she floods China

4/05/2006 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Oblivion said...

She's not going to be in Beijing now to Fat Do's delight.

Go Tamsyn!

8/07/2008 4:56 PM  

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