The week’s On the Podium blog looks at things that have amused and scared us, and, in a rare move, got us thinking.
With no further messing about:
Third place: Donald Trump voice-over
While we’re really not in favour of giving any more oxygen to Donald Trump and his literally insane views, this video, in which his actual words have been dubbed over with a Pat Butcher-type Cockney accent, raised a smile. Sometimes action like this is the only way to really deal with people this ridiculous.
Oh, and it let us work in the excellent blog headline you see above.
Second place: Chicken Licken
Everyone laughed when Chicken Licken said the sky was falling in (word is, it was just an acorn that fell on his head). But seriously, have you heard the wind out there? The little guy might have had a point. It’s getting worse over the weekend. Batten down the hatches!
First place: Repatriated sports stars
It has been some years since Britain figured out that if we really want to get on the Podium, we needed to bring in the finest sporting talent from around the world and claim it as your own. If repatriating sports stars was an Olympic sport in its own right, we’d be really good at it.
This week, Johanna Konta became the first British woman to get to a Grand Slam semi final in, ooh, ages, and everyone was really proud of her – especially in her home town of Sydney, Australia. The BBC ran with this story, which if you cropped it in the right way, read ‘Briton Johanna Konta’s Australian’. Yes, she is.
So, at Podium, where we salute the art of doing whatever it takes to get on the Podium, we doff our collective caps to our fine roll-call of foreign stars made British, both currently and over the years, including tennis star Greg Rusedski (Canadian), cycling stars Chris Froome (Kenyan) and Yorkshire’s Bradley Wiggins (Belgian) and cricketer Kevin Pietersen (South African). Jamaican high jumper Germaine Mason won Britain a High Jump silver medal in Beijing. Mo Farah is as British as they come, and was born in Somalia.
Football is no different, either. Owen Hargreaves was Britain’s best player at the 2006 World Cup, presumably because he was born in Canada and raised in Germany. The most expensive British player of all time? Yeah, he’s Raheem Sterling and he’s Jamaican.
It can sometimes feel as if it’s going too far. The North East’s own mega-talented international sprinter Richard Kilty was angered last year when another swathe of overseas stars were handed British passports. Richard is a good guy: he works and trains incredibly hard, so you can understand he might feel aggrieved if selection places are being handed to overseas sprinters with no prior connection to the UK, especially in an Olympic year.
There is probably a line to be drawn – the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah and Raheem Sterling have lived in Britain for most of their lives, and are as British as anyone. But should an adult sports star be allowed to switch nations just so they can qualify for the Olympics or access funding that they might not get in their country of birth?
Tell us where you stand, and where you think we should draw the line. We’d love to hear from you.