Black and White

In my opinion sport this year has taken a dramatic turn in an interesting direction. There has been a considerable shift in the standards people are willing to accept and a shift in a standard we are forced to accept.

It’s not all darkness and negativity however I believe that if sport should be progressive then there needs to be more transparency.
The audience and consumers of all sports essentially dictate the environment and conditions we compete under. The audience are the ones that allow us to participate in the first place. My question to the audience then is broad. It will definitely be divided in response however it needs to be asked.

What are you willing to accept as a measure of quality in the sporting arena? Seeing as though the athletes and teams that receive the most attention are the ones at the top, and the audience demand to see “good performances” and “entertainment” then under what conditions are you “satisfied”

Are you satisfied if athletes and teams cheat to win? As long as they’re winning?

Are you satisfied when athletes do cheat and are caught that they should be able to earn the same money and should have the same conditions as those who do not?

Are you satisfied to buy tickets to sporting events that have known cheaters participating? And knowing that your ticket purchase goes towards funding their cheating?

Are you satisfied to accept that by doing so you are, in fact, condoning the same conditions that your own children may be involved in?

It is unclear to me what is now acceptable as an athlete. Morally I was brought up to believe that cheating is not ok. Hence my reason for never considering such a pathway, but should I accept that I have to compete against and in the same competitions as those that aren’t of the same belief? Unfortunately I do not have a choice, I have to accept it. I do not however have to believe that it is right and such is the reason for my writing this blog.

The same anti doping agency tests every elite Australian athlete regardless of status. People may think that I do not understand the case of the recent AFL and NRL issues and revealed “cheating” of clubs. Which is correct, I do not know all the details, however I do know that based on the ASADA conditions that are outlined to athletes every single season and have not changed since my first ever drug test…

Athletes are solely responsible for what goes in and comes out of their system.

That does not discriminate against what it was in, or how it was administered. If it’s found inside you, you are responsible. That is completely black and white.

Why then are athletes continually being dealt lenient bans or sometimes no bans when these substances are discovered?

Let’s not forget that if you fail to fill in your whereabouts 3 times you are banned for 2 years. No questions. But find a banned substance in an athlete and ASADA and various anti doping bodies are saying “that’s ok”

I’m lost for words.

I also think that supplements are increasingly being blamed for athletes testing positive because it an easy buy out. What about those who are actually cheating on purpose? What about those folks with peanut allergies? If they eat something “contaminated” and they don’t have an epi pen handy, they die. Yet somehow they can never tell what are inside supplements?? Even so it doesn’t matter, if the substance is inside the athlete they are responsible.

My voice is not loud enough to have a grand impact but the audience who buy the tickets to the sporting arenas of cheating athletes accept that cheating is in fact “fine” We, the people, need to fight for quality and transparency in sport. If you’re caught you don’t deserve to be paid anything. Nor should you ever be. Maybe that would deter athletes from cheating in the first place. One and done.

After all majority says that people like approval and verification for what they pay for. If my butter is approved by the heart foundation’s “tick of approval” then I’m more than likely to buy it right? So if that means every athlete must provide an annual post season DNA test to prove their “quality” and to show transparency, then sign me up.

B xx

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Glasgow. From another angle.

My Heroes.

My Heroes.

Championship sport has so many levels. Perhaps it is because these events only happen every 2-4 years.
For the rookies coming into teams it is so extremely daunting getting used to the logistics of the championship events. Extreme security, masses of people in the same place , each athlete with there own individual routines, ever changing bus schedules, media drama, organisation drama, and possibly the hardest part; personal coaches that may or may not be able to be with them during the build up to, during or even accredited to accompany them to their events.
Even for the experienced athletes it is so very stressful. Remaining focused and calm in these environments is not easy but people don’t see that. They only see the competition and conclude for themselves what is success and what is failure.
I was a gold medalist in Delhi 2010. One of our medalist asked me the other day what it felt like when I won. I could only think of one word. Relief. Relief that I survived the championship experience. I don’t think anything but championship experience can prepare you for championship experience. I was elated that I survived through the ordeal without getting sick or hurt, that I was able to execute my performance and reproduce my training in competition.
Whilst sitting at the airport today before leaving Glasgow I wrote this down:
“It’s amazing what you achieve when you don’t achieve what you think you deserve”
That summarises my Glasgow experience.
I believe that I have taken more from this experience than I have from any championship I have competed in so far. Even from those deemed “successful”
I felt so overcome by love. The support of those who see me week in week out doing everything right everyday to give myself the best chance to perform and reflect my abilities has enriched me beyond belief. Perhaps that has something to do with being coached by my Dad who feels my hurt and shares my successes. Like 2 hearts beating in the same chest.

Dad and I-The best team

Dad and I-The best team

Initially my Mum wasn’t able to finance coming to Glasgow, but we changed that. I sold my motorbike so she could be with Dad and I. I wanted Mum there because she has contributed more than I could possibly explain to my getting to Glasgow in the first place. All the countless hours driving me to training, all the money her and Dad have spent allowing me to have opportunities that i have. Having Mum there to share the experience gave me hope and comfort.
After comp I was devastated. Disappointed that I could not produce what I had been throwing in training. Disappointed that I didn’t endure the experience. That I didn’t produce it while Mum and Dad were both there with me. When going through the media I thought “do I pull my hood down and avoid this or do I show people that we athletes who risk so much are only human?” I felt like people needed to see that sport is not always “gold, silver or bronze” that we hurt like everyone else does. So I let the tears flow and put my heart out there for all to see.
My Glasgow experience was all about sharing. I shared highs and lows with my teammates, I shared smiles and tears with the world. I shared the experiences with my family, friends and supporters. Mostly I felt love. Overcome by love.

United

United

I spoke to my brother after the competition, and he said to me “the boys (my nephews) Audrey (my sister in law) and I got up at 4am and piled in our bed to watch you throw and yell at the TV. We are so proud of you and couldn’t care less if you won gold or came last. We love you anyways”
Which made me realise that what we risk to achieve and what we want are always the most important rewards.
To all of those who tweeted, facebooked, emailed, and called thankyou so much. It’s been emotional and I feel alive. I feel love.

 

B xx

Yes!

Yes!

Village People

“It’s fun to stay at the Glasgow Games…”

We are here. The green and gold swarm has bombarded the village with it’s smiles and energetic vibes! Coffee is great (we brought our own) and the company is better.

Train on it’s only a few more days! #needyoubehindme #yolothrow

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We are going kilt shopping!

Had been a great month of training with Dad. It’s funny when you think of it, people are so fixated on athletes and their improvements they forget about the coaches improving.

I watched as Dad presented to Swedish coaches and really simplified his method for people who speak English as a second language (a lot of you know that Dad speaks a type of Australian even I have trouble understanding sometimes) Dad really has a gift to teach. He is passionate. Enthusiastic and confident with his knowledge. I was really proud to watch as he gained a lot if respect amongst the coaches and athletes whom he worked with.

Our journey now continues to Glasgow. Dad will head to Gateshead and I’ll have a quick trip to Monaco then meet up with him there to continue fine tuning the violin. Giving our best every session.

We are a great team.

Looking forward to seeing Mum soon too! I only wish my brother and his family could join. Along with a few special others that are close to me.

Special shout out to Gus Puopolo. We are keeping your legacy alive sharing some of your teachings with the world.

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#thehomebusk Mess Around

Alright so I am no singer but  I love playing guitar. I love this track by Ray Charles so I tossed on a hat and pretended to be some amazing blues artist for 2 mins. It felt good.  It felt really good. haha.

Join me for a latte at home

Coffee is a great hobby to have. It’s always fun searching for a good coffee spot in new locations but when I am home I know the quality is always good! Thanks to Botero for the beans. Organic Rain has been my consistant favourite from the beginning!