Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hoy-st By Their Own Petard

Well, well, well. See that fuss about Chris Hoy apparently describing a Scottish Olympic Team as 'ridiculous'? It seems I was right to point out that he'd said no such thing. In today's Daily Record, which as we all know is a fine newspaper which always prints the truth, Hoy is quoted thusly:

TRIPLE gold medal hero Chris Hoy last night said he'd be proud to be part of a Scottish Olympic team.

The Edinburgh cyclist rubbished reports that he thought the idea was "ridiculous". Speaking exclusively to the Record, he told of his pride in his home country.

And he said he believes Scotland could form a world-class team - with the right investment in sports.

Chris was given a hero's welcome when he landed back in Britain on Monday after winning three golds in Beijing.

But the 32-year-old said: "I feel a bit upset that I have been quoted as saying the idea of a Scottish Olympic team is ridiculous.

"If and when a Scottish team was put together, I would be delighted to represent Scotland in the Olympic Games.


Hoy then goes on to opine that presently, the infrastructure and facillities for that to happen simply aren't in place. Fair points all - and you'll find little disagreement from me on that score. However, I can't help but feel that its still a far cry from the constructs which the Hootsmon and, dare I say it, a few others, have sought to put on his views.

In the end, we come back to the fact that most athletes probably are more concerned with their sport than politics; that they are in the main proud to compete for whoever; and that what people see as the merits or otherwise of a Scottish Olympic team vis-a-vis 'Team GB' is largely a matter of conjecture and personal preference.

Even then, I know it's the silly season, but I'm still surprised at the fuss all this has caused. I'd have thought that for anyone of at least meagre to moderate awareness, an SNP preference for a Scottish Olympic team would be about as surprising a revelation as that of the likely incidence of ursine defecation within forested areas. While these have been pretty lean times politically for unionists, what I wasn't expecting was the way that people would so shamelessly try to equate sporting success with the vitality of the status quo.

I mean, isn't wrapping yourself in a flag supposed to be the preserve of narrow and parochial Scot Nats like me, rather than of stout-hearted Britons who as we all know, are not in the least bit nationalistic, this being an infantile disease which afflicts only those unfortunate enough to have been born elsewhere? People like me just can't help ourselves apparently, and our polite cough about how it might be nice to have a Scottish team was thus elevated to the crime of having taken a piddle in the great national British punch-bowl.

To be honest, I find the double standards all quite amusing, as indeed I do the indecent haste with which some people have used it to vent bile about the SNP. However, before anyone thinks of jumping in with the ritualised 'your lot started it' cobblers, perhaps I could recommend a perusal of the following from Robbie Dinwoodie's blog:

Two minor points about the attacks on the SNP for supposedly spoiling the party – last week, after Chris Hoy's third gold, the Scottish Government initially offered simple congratulations, with no talk of a separate Olympics team until his senior advisor was pressed on the subject by the Daily Telegraph. Similarly, at the weekend, communities and sports minister Stewart Maxwell was speaking to the BBC about housing and was then asked about Olympic Team Scotland.


Well, there you have it. Now, can we move next business, please?

10 comments:

Bill said...

Hi Richard

As you were kind enough (of that's the right expression in the circumstances - lol) to link to my post about this, I have posted an update to that post; as we both obviously wish to 'move on' to more important matters (in my case a sunset drink on the terrace - it's about 28 degC here at present) this is within my original post, not a separate new post.
¡Hasta Luego!
Bill

Steven F said...

A wonderful post!

I can remember telling you that the reason I didn't blog is because I don't have the time. But, if truth be told, it's because there's no need - I'd never be able to sum up the Unionists' Olympic Hysterics half as well as you just did.

OK, that's the gushing over.

Steven F

Richard Thomson said...

(in my case a sunset drink on the terrace - it's about 28 degC here at present)

Hmph. There's blue skies over Aberdeenshire right now, but it'll be nowhere near 28c - try 18 if we're lucky :-)

Richard Havers said...

Frankly Richard I think no political party should get involved in sporting arguments. somehow or another it always ends up coming out wrong.

Anonymous said...

A fantastic post Richard

Allan said...

A good and concise post. My answer to both Frank McAveety and the SNP chap (sorry i din't quite get his name)who i heard on Radio 5 live on Monday would still have to be "Show us the money". Our sporting facilities are awful, whether we are in a union or not!

Anonymous said...

"...I find all the double standards amusing..."


"Chris was given a hero's welcome when he landed back in Britain on Monday after winning three golds in Beijing"

I thought he landed in England?

Double standards? You should know.

Richard Thomson said...

"Chris was given a hero's welcome when he landed back in Britain on Monday after winning three golds in Beijing"

I thought he landed in England?


Anon - You are, I take it, familliar with the concept of quotation marks and their useage? The bit about landing in Britain is a direct lift from the newspaper article being quoted. That means it was a journalist who put it like that, and not me.

Double standards? You should know.

Taxi...

Disturbed of Dumfries said...

I'm a Scottish athlete in a British team, and I'm proud to be a British athlete

Quite clearly some re-education still needs to be done on Mr Hoy.

Richard Thomson said...

Quite clearly some re-education still needs to be done on Mr Hoy.

As far as I'm concerned, he can be whatever he wants to be - no 're-education required'.