I have lost respect for Bradley Wiggins

Confession: I’m a cyclist and a total sucker for the Tour de France. And although I detest Bradley Wiggins’ sideburns (there is a fad that really did not need to be reintroduced), I came to respect him for both his burning performance during the Tour and his willingness to work for his teammates. It is not a common thing to see the yellow jersey wearer leading out a teammate in a sprint, and Wiggins did it for two members of his team.

But then, after winning the gold medal in the Olympic time trial and bringing his total medal count to seven, he said:

“It’s all about the gold medals. There’s only one colour really. It’s number 4 for me, not number 7.”

Number four because only four of those medals were gold. To put it in British terms: what an arsehole. Way to disrespect every bronze and silver medal winner at the Olympics. Way to disrespect his own Olympic teammates, and demoralize them to boot! Their national hero is telling them that if they don’t get gold, it doesn’t count.

Contrast that arrogant idiocy with the attitude of British gymnasts Louis Smith and Kristian Thomas. Their team won the silver medal in the team gymnastics final, but after Japan appealed one of the scoring decisions, judges awarded the silver to Japan and knocked the British team down to bronze.

“For all these guys, their first Olympic Games, to get a medal is unbelievable,” Smith told BBC Sport. “Silver? Bronze? It doesn’t matter, we enjoyed it, it was fantastic.”

Thomas added: “It’s an Olympic medal at the end of the day, it’s what dreams are made of. All I could think about was winning an Olympic medal when I was younger. Silver would’ve been nice but I couldn’t complain at all right now. We’re in London, it’s once in a lifetime and we’ve made the most of it.”

Of course it’s all about expectations. But when second best in the world isn’t good enough, it’s time for an adjustment to both expectations and attitude. I love watching medalists bounce around with joy, regardless of their medal color, and have no patience for silver medalists who look like someone just ran over their kitten. If you’re that upset about your medal color, I’m quite sure the fourth-place finisher would love to trade.

As for Bradley Wiggins, he is a great cyclist. But in my book, he is not a true sportsman.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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11 Responses to I have lost respect for Bradley Wiggins

  1. Paulo says:

    Wiggins, you’re a wanker.

    OEx, I see your disappointment and raise you my own, of a different kind (I guess August is Let’s Be a Gigantic Idiot Month and we missed that memo).

    The President of these here United States said the following yesterday, verbatim:
    ‎”There’s not another country on Earth that would not gladly trade places with the United States of America”

    I of course don’t want to politicize the blog, but… there are things that after over 5 years of US one comes to expect hearing from the likes of Santorum, Palin, talk-radio hosts, assorted dirtbags 🙂 etc.
    But having followed his trajectory since 2004, I think this has got to be the most stupid, ignorant, reprehensible, disappointing, idiotic, uneducated, saddening, unnecessary pandering ever to come out of this man’s mouth.

    OK, back to Bradley “It’s all about the gold medals” Wiggins: he disrespects himself, because he obviously was not born into a gold medal or into the Tour’s yellow jersey. He’s basically saying his previous efforts and existence were worthless. I’ll say it again: what a wanker. What a couple of wankers.

    • Lilaine says:

      The President of these here United States said the following yesterday, verbatim:
      ‎”There’s not another country on Earth that would not gladly trade places with the United States of America”

      If he was talking about the whole Curiosity mission on Mars, then I guess he’s totally right.
      If he was talking about the high performance quality of US athletes at the Olympics, he might have momentarily forgotten the existence of China… though, if you count ALL the medals, the USA come first, to this time.
      If it’s anything else, the it’s all in the context; which is, in this particular case… ????
      Everyone can sound like a dumb asshole if you extract just one sentence from a conversation/interview/etc. 🙂

      • Paulo says:

        Yeah. I agree. Unfortunately it was none of that.
        Judge for yourself. It goes predictably enough (and not even too bad) until that last sentence:

        • Lilaine says:

          Oops…Indeed. 😀
          He’s a bit excessive in his bout of national pride. How American, though… 😉
          He does have to appeal to the voters, right? 😛

          • oregon expat says:

            Yes…he does. And I’m sorry Paulo, but you will be bathed in excessive pandering to “patriots” from here until early November. This is the Olympics of hypocrisy and idiocy—every four years! I agree it’s ridiculous, but if Obama doesn’t pander, he opens himself up to even more relentless Republican attacks.

            Remember 2008, and the whole media blow-up over who did or did not wear a flag pin in their suit lapel?

          • Paulo says:

            I know, I’ve lived through the 2008 and the 2010 “cycles”… one day I will *really* swear off my involvement in any of this.
            You may have noticed that in 2012 he’s not letting himself be seen anywhere without the lapel pin.

            That said… he could have drawn the line somewhere. I still respect this dude (now less), and I’ve been coaching folks for the last 4 years into being patient and considering his “long-game”, his Zen-mastery and blah blah blah, while at the same time being fully aware of the “lowered expectations” meaning of all this.
            It’s the obscene spectacle of the money-based elections that makes me hope that at least someone, somewhere, will have the decency of not betraying his world view with the purpose of winning a few more votes. Unless he really believes this crap, which makes it worse.

            I should keep this to myself, I’m really angry today. Tomorrow I’ll be pragmatic. Today… arrrgggghhh.

          • Paulo says:

            Just this more.
            Did you see the soccer final?
            USA! USA! USA!
            Hope Solo, you had me at Hope.

          • oregon expat says:

            I did! Fantastic. And great redemption for the team.

            Hope saved the game with that amazing block. She’s a goddess of the field.

  2. xenatuba says:

    Well said, the both of you. “Arsehat” here for me, but I may steal “wanker” as well.

  3. Tim Robbins says:

    Except that quote has been taken out of context, Wiggins was being questioned about being the greatest ever Olympian from GB, and he said he wasn’t as he had not won as many golds as Sir Redgrave, do a bit of research.

    • oregon expat says:

      I’m aware of the context, as is any reader who followed the link in the post. Wiggins could have responded to the comparison in any number of ways. He could have said, “I can’t compare myself to Sir Redgrave until I’ve won five golds at five consecutive Olympics.” Instead he chose to devalue all other medal colors.

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