Move over Eddie the Eagle

eddietheeagleA lesson in bossing Britain’s insatiable appetite for sporting mediocrity:

Step 1. Acquire threads from the Conservative party rail in your local BHS store.

Step 2. Develop a socially awkward interest in Winter sports.

Step 3. Accessorize with some snazzy eye-wear.

Step 4. Pillage the public purse to make real your dream. You’re almost there!

Step 5. Fail spectacularly on the world stage (crying optional).

Elise Christie is obviously a lady at the top of her game. Having captured three gold medals at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, she made the final list of nominations for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2017.

Yet, for all her undoubted success, she will be defined by her equally amazing ability to balls a good thing up. Viewers of a nervous disposition, look away now.

Location – Sochi, Russia. It’s the year 2014 and dear old Elise, one of Britain’s high hopes for a medal at the 2014 Winter Olympiad is the ringmaster, tightrope walker, and elephant in her own one woman circus. Three events, three spectacular disqualifications. A nation weeps.

Four years on and redemption beckons. Result – more pile ups than an Antarctic motorway.

Thing is, I do genuinely feel for her. It would be inhumane not to. Eight years of intense training to fall on your ass six times out of six is bloody galling. I hope she recovers mentally from the trauma and I wish her well. 

Yet I can’t fail to be struck, by the widespread gush-fest going on in the British media, and not contrast it with their vilification of true sporting geniuses – those who achieve. Step forward Messrs Froome, Hamilton, O’Sullivan.

The mediocrity messiah is reborn for a new century. Move over Eddie the Eagle. Arise, Elise the Eejit. Sigh.