Olympians sup­ported

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - By CHE BAKER OPIN­ION

I, like I would imag­ine the ma­jor­ity of Wanaka and the New Zealand snow sport fra­ter­nity, was dis­ap­pointed by a news­pa­per col­umn last week diss­ing the New Zealand Win­ter Olympics team.

For those of you that missed it, the writer Dana Jo­hannsen, said ‘‘it’s (the Games) more like watch­ing a bunch of Ki­wis on an ex­pen­sive ski­ing hol­i­day than a bunch of top ath­letes rep­re­sent­ing their na­tion at the high­est level.’’

‘‘We knew medals were a long shot, but what we did ex­pect was that they’d at least show a bit of grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion,’’ she said.

While some read­ers agreed with her, oth­ers touted the col­umn on­line as ‘‘a piece of crap’’ and ‘‘rubbish’’. I have to agree. This sport writer con­fessed she had no idea about snow­board­ing or ski­ing. Get this woman on a slope and have her ex­pe­ri­ence what it takes to get down a moun­tain, let alone take on a slopestyle course or half pipe, then have her re­peat her com­ments there was no ‘‘grit or de­ter­mi­na­tion’’.

It was writ­ten as a Paul Henry-style shock jock and it worked. Within hours of go­ing to print the writer was bom­barded with neg­a­tive feed­back. What did she ex­pect? How can you say five ath­letes fin­ish­ing in the top 10 is not mak­ing New Zealand proud. Al­most 3400 people have joined a Face­book page cre­ated in spite of the col­umn. It goes to show you can’t go na­tion­ally diss­ing some­thing you haven’t tried. Just be­cause they make it look easy, doesn’t mean it is.

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