RTÉ loses complete run of itself over Taylor’s winAugust 14, 2012 - 8:17am
RTÉ really lost the run of themselves.
We win a gold medal in what can only be described as a minority sport and they go into orgasm. But then, maybe as a nation we are happy to win gold medals in women’s boxing and that is the extent of our ambitions.
And fair play to Katie Taylor for giving the RTÉ sports department everything they were looking for even if she and her opponent were almost afraid to throw a punch in the final.
But everyone from Bill O’Herlihy to Jimmy Magee to Marty Morrissey could hardly contain themselves and almost conveyed the impression that this was the greatest moment in Irish sporting history.
Even one of the panel believed that everyone in the country would remember for the rest of their lives where they were or what they were doing when Katie Taylor won a gold medal at the London Olympics.
For the record, I was cutting the lawn just before the fight and bitched over the fact that I ran out of petrol. It is etched in my memory forever.
This is how ridiculous the whole caper got on RTÉ when a gold medal for women’s boxing equates to an archery gold medal or one achieved for playing table tennis or possibly that so-called sport which involves horses dancing from one side to another. In fairness, it is no more significant than that.
Yet, the sporting pundits on RTÉ conveniently fail to address the fact that our athletes cannot run for nuts, we are not capable of flinging a javelin any great distance and let’s not talk about our incredible swimming prowess.
The commentaries were hilarious. Jimmy Magee spent much of his time talking about what a nice girl Katie is and what a nice family she comes from. Over on radio, Marty Morrissey was banging on about what a great crowd was in the stadium for the event and how they were roaring “Katie, Katie, Katie” but neither commentator had very much to say about what was going on inside the ring.
The question is, does Katie Taylor’s gold medal have any more significance than the silver medal won by John Treacy in the Olympic Marathon back in 1984? The answer is an emphatic no. In fact that performance in Los Angeles goes down as one of the best from any of our athletes.
But Katie Taylor’s success was a convenient way for RTÉ to totally ignore the fact that our track and field representatives had failed miserably to come within touching distance of a medal. We had a fourth place in the walk and that was about as good as it got.
While the coverage was understandable and it was great that she won gold and all of that but its significance is really exaggerated when the emphasis really should be on why we are so crap at track and field which is really the essence of the Olympic Games.