Sport’s dangerous killer instinct

Oscar Pistorius

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved last summer’s Olympic Games and the Paralympics too and I definitely went all teary eyed over the Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony. All that gave even cynical old me a touch of feel-good factor. It is exciting watching supreme athletes strutting their stuff and I can’t deny getting drawn along with the crowd in those winning moments. Take the Paralympics, for example, I, like millions of others, will never see wheelchairs in the same way again after those astonishing David Weir races.

David Weir

I was, however, less enthralled when some of the paralympians, not David Weir, crowed about being the greatest in a select elite. I know winning is all about being better than the next man or woman and I’m perfectly happy to see one athlete beat all the others  just as I enjoy horse-racing or even, on occasions, greyhound racing but with horses and dogs you don’t have to hear them discussing their supremacy afterwards. Usually the horse just chews on a carrot and the greyhound cocks its leg. You don’t get to the winning post, I guess, without having something of a killer instinct and that must be even more true if you’ve had to over-come extreme physical disabilities on your way to the top. It must be quite difficult to have that ability to sublimate everything for that supreme moment of physical triumph. For me that is sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning so what do I know but I don’t find it a surprizing thought that some of those athletes might not be the easiest of people to live with.

Reeva Steenkamp

Now none of us know how the Oscar Pistorius murder trial will finish. I hope what he is saying is true and that he really didn’t notice that his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp,  was no longer in their bed and that hearing someone in the loo made him think it was a murderous burglar and not just his girlfriend going for a pee. She is  now dead, poor woman, whatever the reason, and I can’t help feeling that if she had been in a relationship with a guy who wasn’t always so desperate to win that she might not have been gunned down so decisively. It’s tough at the top, as they say, maybe the rest of us are better off being the also-rans.

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