The Art of the Australian Insult


Not the most deserving cause
February 4, 2009, 12:42 am
Filed under: Sport | Tags: ,

Not everyone thinks that elite sport is deserving of vast mountains of government money:

“Despite what John Coates says, there is no evidence that more public money for elite sport provides “enormous cultural, role model and health spin-offs” (“Medal push: sport chiefs want extra $100m a year”, February 2), unless you count orgies of kitsch at Olympic Games opening ceremonies; “role models” who assault people, chase kiddies who spring them smoking and take drugs; and a generation of obese couch potatoes who don’t play sport because they are not “winners”. What professional sport does provide is nice jobs for people like Coates, and huge amounts of money for a small number of athletes.

It is a business, and governments have no business subsidising it. There are any number of other things more deserving of funding, such as health, education, the arts and rescuing the Murray-Darling Basin.”

Kim Sanders Dulwich Hill, letter to the Sydney Morning Herald.

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“They’re serving it up to me”
August 20, 2008, 12:28 am
Filed under: International relations, Sport | Tags: ,

“They’re certainly serving it up to me. Their new-found cockiness has got some substance to it.”

AOC president John Coates to a roomful of “downcast” Australian journalists at the Beijing Olympics. To date the British have won 16 golds, compared to Australia’s 11. Coates added:

“I said at the outset, and my sense of pride says, that we can’t let them beat us and they may well beat us this time but let’s use that as the incentive to get the planning right for our high performance and our attack on London 2012.”



John Coates, his mouth and the bar of soap
August 14, 2008, 5:16 am
Filed under: Ethnic Insults, International relations, Sport | Tags: ,

“John Coates’s comment about the hygiene of British Olympic swimmers was way out of line. He should have his mouth washed out with soap.”

Robbie Roach of Randwick writes to the Australian in response to AOC president John Coates’s bizarre press conference at which he gave a passable imitation of someone not entirely sober. How else to explain the following statements:

“Shit happens.”

“Great Britain may have been in lane seven and eight but, um, they seemed to be getting there for a country that has very few swimming pools and not much soap.”

“The tanks I’ve seen before…we just can’t afford them in Australia.”



The Olympic spirit
August 5, 2008, 3:25 am
Filed under: Aussie Aussie Aussie, Sport | Tags: , ,

Comments by the Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates, in his quest for more funding lest Australia slip down the medals table, drew several negative responses from readers of the Sydney Morning Herald, who felt that Coates was not exactly promoting the Olympic spirit:

“Shock! Horror! John Coates says Australia won’t net the same number of medals as in Athens four years ago. Apparently this is something Australians should be distressed about. I thought the Olympics was about participation and friendship, not which country wins the most medals. What an appalling culture we are breeding.” Rose Panidis.

“The gold medal for naked self interest and breathtaking cynicism goes to John Coates.” Stuart Miller.

“Perhaps some federal programs, such as rescuing the Murray-Darling, or carbon emissions reduction schemes, could be pruned or canned to find this money. Then we can watch those all-important medals rolling in.” Joan Brown.

As for the televising of the games:

“I hope the ABC proves there is more life than sport and jingoism.” Robert Pallister.

“Three days until the opening ceremony and I’m sick of the Olympics already.” Steve Barrett.