POTTSY: Australia should bail on Winter Olympics

THE Winter Olympics seems like the forgotten sibling of the Summer Olympics.

All the pomp and ceremony accompanies the Summer Olympics when they roll around every four years, as countries swoon over their athletes and talk up medal hopes.

Cities fall over themselves to host the competition, and in the months and weeks building up there's almost nothing but Olympic talk.

But the Winter Olympics? Yawn. I couldn't even tell you who is in the Australian team, let alone what events they're competing in.

The media exposure, and attention paid by the public, is considerably less, so much so that I almost forgot they were on.

Winter sports always seem to have a greater disconnect to Australian audiences. Maybe it's because of our lack of the essential ingredients required for Winter Olympic success: cold weather and snow.

Every country in the world has a summer to some extent, but not every country has a winter that is conducive to producing athletes suited to Winter Olympic success.

With a grand total of 12 (yes, 12) medals in our 82 year history of Winter Olympics prior to this year's competition, it's hardly a success worth boasting about, and considering the millions of tax-payer dollars sunk into the foolhardy endeavour, one has to question the value of Australia competing in the games.

RENAE: Australia needs to stay in the Winter Olympics

TO NOT take part in one of the biggest sporting events in the world, every four years, is not in our make-up, it would be un-Australian not to "give it a go".

Ok, so we have only won 12 medals in total since 1936, BUT if we hadn't been involved in the Winter Olympics we would have been deprived of some of our greatest sporting triumphs.

Names like Alisa Camplin, gold in women's aerials in Salt Lake City in 2002, Dale Begg Smith, gold in men's moguls in Turin in 2006, Torah Bright, gold in the women's half pipe in 2010 and who could forget, arguably one of this country's greatest sporting moments in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, when Steven Bradbury cruised to gold after the rest of the field fell over in the short track speed skating final.

"Doing a Bradbury" has become part of the Australian vernacular.

We expect to win medals in the Summer Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, but when an athlete for the land of "droughts and flooding rains" triumphs in the snow and ice, you can't help but feel proud.

So for the next week I will be sitting sweltering through an Aussie summer watching our athletes compete in the cold of South Korea.

Why?

Because it's sport, and I love it.



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