Any Australian NOT living under a rock would know about the recent hullabaloo about our (and I say it with the same National pride as that when we refer to "OUR Nicole") anti-climatic swimming performance at the Olympics. Most of the bad press surrounds James "Missile" Magnussen, a 21 year old swimmer who failed to win gold in the the 100m freestyle and performed disappointingly in the 100m relay. Australian sports media has to be the most unforgiving (perhaps alongside the Brits) bunch of wankers to grace London 2012. According to most media outlets in Australia, young James was a confident Australian hero... right up until he fudged the two races in which we 100% expected him to win gold. After that he was an arrogant, rude failure who disgraced his country and deserved to lose.
I wouldn't worry if I were James, though, because he has plenty of other career options, such as:
1. Spokesperson for Erectile Dysfunction
Hey, if Pelé can do it, so can you! Let's forget for a moment that he's only 21 years old; just think of all the fantastic puns you can make in his ad campaigns about his missile "launching prematurely" or "failing to peak" etc etc. Surely he's the perfect role model for men who flop under the weight of high expectations?
2. Become a Danish Citizen
There's no shortage of athletes who suddenly defect to another country because of shitty treatment from their home country or better funding. Think: Jelena Dokic. My limited knowledge of Scandinavian names leads me to believe that Mr. Magnussen is of Danish, Swedish or Norwegian ancestry. I've never heard of any world famous swimmers hailing from those countries so he's bound to be an instant national hero!
3. Be a Model
My honours supervisor wasn't a fraction as good looking or tall as James and somehow (for the love of god, HOW???) he became a male model. At 6"5 and already an amateur underwear model, Magnussen is the perfect candidate to replace Kris Smith (estranged husband of Danniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Minogue) when he eventually realises that he's married to the OTHER Minogue sister (who, horrifyingly, shagged SIMON COWELL) and flees back to England.
I think Australian athletes show remarkable restraint when it comes to dealing with their home media. If I was an athlete under that much scrutiny I would just do a Princess Anne and tell 'em to "Naff off".