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Friday, 22 August 2008

All That Glistens Need Not Be Gold

So, a mixed day for Irish boxing. I'm not going to buy into the hysteria of 'Fabulous Friday', not when two of our three boxers in action were beaten. I watched all three fights, live - I've seen every Irish Olympic medal since i was born and I wasn't going to stop today.

Kenny won. Hardly a surprise. Jeffries looked scared in an interview this week and acted like it in the ring today. Sutherland showed no grit or determination. Not happy with his performance at all. However, I want to talk about Paddy Barnes.

Paddy is 21, from Belfast, and did very well to medal in these Games. Against the two-time World Champion and home favourite Shiming Zou he was always up against it. What interested me, however, is the interview he gave after the fight. If you're in Ireland you can see it here and if not, then allow me to summise. Barnes attacked the judges for not awarding him a single point - a valid argument. But when Marty Morrissey (who looks oddly like Betty Boop) tried to cheer him up by saying that he did well, Barnes was indignant. The bronze medal is for "losers", he said, and "[the organisers] can keep it, I don't care."

I hope Paddy regrets his outburst. He has done remarkably well to get this far and could go on to greater things in London in 2012. However, that attitude is the wrong one. He's been a major part of one of our most successful teams in over 50 years. He has done his country, his club and most importantly himself proud in Beijing. He's done a lot more than some 'athletes' in this country who are revered as heroes. I hope that he becomes more positive about his achievements very soon.

Remember Paddy, bronze ain't bad.


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