|Jessica Ennis wins heptathlon gold. (guardian.co.uk)|
I may be biased but I really disagree with this ideology.
|Manchester City win the marathon that is the|
Premier League (telegraph.co.uk)
Secondly, consider the life of a footballer and an Olympian:
- Footballers must dedicate their lives to train with a professional club from before they've left secondary school for a career than can last until they are 40, are traded between teams for millions of pounds as commodities, are hounded by fans when they put one foot wrong on the pitch and are hounded day and night through their career, and after, by the press. Footballers often perform in their sport two times a week for the majority of each year and then throughout the summer. Yes, they are paid more than the general Briton, but can the blame really be put on them for that?
- Olympians dedicate the build up to an Olympics or championship to training, often for the most part of each day of the week, and put aside the rest of their lives for that time towards the event. Often, athletes will have competed in a sport for as little as two years before performing in it with most competing in a maximum of three Olympics over 12 years. Only the popular sports and athletes are paid well, mostly by sponsors, with some lesser known sports having to pay for training themselves. There is only real coverage of athletics during the Olympics, during which, for two weeks, the media is pretty much focussed solely on it.
There are so many differences between the two groups of sportsmen and women and each athlete has a different background and experience of their sport. The Olympics have been a great event and have lifted the whole country. Hopefully its legacy will go on for years to come and inspire a whole generation, as the organisers set out to do. But don't use these great role models as a way to attack football from another angle; leave the two as separate.
Either way, come Christmas, I still think those around the country will be more interested in the latest Premier League scores and the FA Cup Third Round draw than the latest winner of the long jump or 110m hurdles.