Saturday, December 29, 2012

Arise Sir Wiggo

Personally I'd shoot the editor who cropped his hands out!

Mark Cavendish once, in a brief moment of role reversal, asked why journalists never bothered to ask Frank Lampard why he didn't smile enough during football matches in the same way that they constantly asked Cav why he had that permanent look of somebody who had just had the bell stolen off his bike. Cav said cycling was his job and he doubted that everybody else found time during their daily lives to smile all the time.

Up until the end of this years TDF the general feeling among the British cycling fans I spoke to was that Bradley Wiggins was a good, potentially great, cyclist, but he was never really going to be liked in the same way that Chris Boardman was or Chris Hoy was. The 2012 Tour De France changed  that perception both here and abroad as everybody finally 'got' the dry sense of humour that doesn't always translate well into the written word or across a ten second soundbite at the end of a gruelling day in the Alps or Pyrenees.

There are those of course who believe that our pampered, over paid and over indulged sports stars shouldn't receive such an award and that by doing so the Government (for it is they who are ultimately responsible for these gongs) are trivialising the achievements of others such as nurses, doctors and those in the armed forces. Of course those types of circular arguments arise on an almost daily basis and neglect to look at these type of awards in a wider context, nobody is suggesting for a moment that a soldier serving in Afghan is any less deserving of recognition for his day job than a sportsman and the argument that the riches enjoyed by our sports people should be sufficient without further reward ignores those moments when we are taken out of our day to day lives by something which, in its own field of expertise, stands alone as a real human achievement.

Of course behind every good sportsman is a support system that enables him to concentrate on his 'day job' and Bradley Wiggins has a supporting crew that not only includes his wife and family but also the newly knighted Dave Brailsford. Brailsford is a perfectionist in a sport where only those who seek perfection enjoy any sort of lasting success. Anybody who watched the Sky TV series in the Autumn called 'The Road To Glory' will have seen a man who has all but sacrificed his personal and family life for the sake of British cycling.


Brailsford his the performance director of British Cycling and the general manager of Team Sky. In his role in charge of our elite Olympic athletes he has overseen success at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics as well as being responsible for Team Sky riders taking first and second place in this years Tour De France (among numerous road race victories).

Whilst these gongs continue to be handed out to sportsmen and women I can't really see an argument against both Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir David John 'Dave' Brailsford being recipients. I'd like to think the Queen will perform the ceremony with a bicycle pump rather than a sword - but that's just me.

7 comments:

Span Ows said...

Yes, Brailsford and Tanner (the Team GB rowing performance director) really deserve anything and everything they get.

re the photo, cropped his hands and left ugly, bare midriff FFS.

Paul said...

I agree - on both points.

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