Everything happens for a reason, I truly believe that.  And quite often, things don’t happen for a reason as well.

What’s not happening right now is our wonderful Olympians are not bringing home the medals that they thought they would and we expected they should.

So what’s going on over there?  Has the pressure just become too much?  The expectation of a nation weighing heavily on their shoulders preventing them from taking full lift off?  Or has someone been smuggling in a few too many chip butties into the Olympic village?

Whatever is going on, I think it’s time we had a long hard look at ourselves when it comes to our reputation for being a little on the bad sport side of things.

Yes I know this won’t go down well with many of you who have settled in on the couch for a couple of weeks, life currently on hold, swearing at your TV sets, but the fact is, other nations have noticed that we’re not the face of humble whether we’re winning or losing Olympic gold.

An English friend of mine, who’s lived here for well over a decade said to me the other day, “I tell you what, watch the Aussie’s very quickly pretend the Olympics isn’t happening when they don’t pick up the medals they’re used to getting.”

It reminded me of back in the Atlanta Olympic days when I was living here with an English boyfriend.  We were both so excited about the games kicking off and affectionately ready to tear strips off each other as we supported our relevant nations, but it never quite happened.

The reason why it never happened was because the English, nor any other country barely rated a mention in our coverage at the time.  We were on a Kieren Perkins, Daniel Kowalski roll and we were combusting as a nation.  Which is all very well, and no he was never going to get an English coverage version of the games, but they had a few good wins too but it didn’t rate a flicker.  Aren’t we supposed to be friends?

I am an Aussie and I get why we’re so proud to the point of tortured, sport has always been our big thing that we can compete on in the world stage when many other times we go ignored.

We’re not a huge nation in population and we like to think we’re all powerful because we have tough mates like the Americans, but let’s be honest, we’re really not.

However when we’ve got a swim cap on, or a cricket bat in our hands, we can strike a chord of fear.  But we need to tone it down and get back to being good sports that are good at sport.

Winning is an honour and not something we should just expect,  There is so much to enjoy out of not knowing whether we’ll make it onto the podium.

I didn’t win any friends when I mentioned years ago when I cricketers started to lose in a big way; I said I thought it was great that finally the English were giving us a kick up the bum.  Because we’d become arrogant, and we needed to re-group on the ego nation front.

Whilst I feel enormously sorry for those gorgeous kids over there competing for our country and for themselves, having to deal with an avalanche of disappointment, but each one of these losses can be a great example to show our kids that we know how to lose.  And lose with grace.

This is an opportunity for us to really unite as a nation and prove how much we love sport.  Loving sport is supporting and barracking your butt off not knowing who will win.  Showing our kids that there are so many levels to the process of becoming number one.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve read the word FAIL since the games began?  Is that a word tantrum or what?


  1. Amber,

    Good on ya!! This so needed saying and I am so impressed you have gone out on a limb. How is it Ozzies can only get beat by athletes on drugs?? Why can’t they just be better than you?
    Example of a good sport – Emily Seebohm. Wins silver and feels gutted for her family & coaches who have invested so much time. Sweet girl, what a star and what an amazing performance.
    Look at every Australian sport loss, its because the other team coach was an ozzie, the opposition man of the match was born in Oz, the opposition weren’t born in the country who beat you…etc
    I am Pom (in case you hadn’t guessed) and I’m already sick of the Olympics because all you do is bag the british and every other country that beats Australia (and you say that we whinge!!). I want to support Australia but this contant belittling of the opposition makes it hard to.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love Australia and will become a citizen as soon as I can but the culture stinks. You have gone way up in my estimations Miss Petty, great work.

    • Thanks Robin!!!!! I actually became aware of what we were like when I had my english boyfriend and I was kind of annoyed for him. I felt like we’d sort of robbed him of any sort of glimpse of an experience just because we have such an over the top ‘if it ain’t aussie, it ain’t happening’ and it pissed me off. I wanted to see the other countries compete and I wanted to hear their stories. Especially some of the small countries, I love to hear who they are, what their journey has been…because let’s face it, those countries that have bugger all money for sport and large population numbers are really up against the odds big time to make it to such an amazing event. I just think we need to appreciate our athletes and sporting games, and NOT expect because we’ve become cocky Aussies that we are naturally going to win. Winning is an honour and a struggle, not a bloody shoe in. Thanks for your comments! I’m Aussie but know how you feel.x

  2. soooooooo true. is it a “GEN Y” thing that these swimmers are not very gracious about their losses? i mean…they’re the TOP 5 swimmers in the world and they’re at a “loss for words” and sulking like spoilt brats when they’re coming 2nd! Of course we want them to win gold, but their lack of class in losing is disappointing. These Olympic games are becoming quite miserable to watch because it’s all such a “big deal!”

    • Oh you are SO onto something about the over inflated Gen Y attitude. It’s certainly a weird Olympics isn’t it? It’s like our sporting culture has been given a bit of a slap on the wrist for getting too ahead of itself and maybe on a universal level we need a bit of that slap. I do feel so sorry for those many wonderful and humble athletes we have though. What a tough gig. But the sad thing is that we’ve become so expectant of greatness that these poor kids who don’t bring home the ultimate medals may spend the rest of their lives thinking they failed when they’re still bigger winners than the rest of us. Dear oh dear

  3. soooooooo true. is it a “GEN Y” thing that these swimmers are not very gracious about their losses? i mean…they’re the TOP 5 swimmers in the world and they’re at a “loss for words” and sulking like spoilt brats when they’re coming 2nd! Of course we want them to win gold, but their lack of class in losing is disappointing. These Olympic games are becoming quite miserable to watch because it’s all such a “big deal!”

  4. I know, i couldn’t believe the whole “i’ve disappointed my parents and everyone at home” call! First of all…you’ve come SECOND at a world competition! SOOOO AMAZING! Australia has got tall poppy syndrome yes, but we’ve never, in my memory, kicked anyone when they’re down. Especially in sports…or has this all changed? Maybe this Olympics can breed a new culture of class in competition. It is quite embarrassing to watch the reactions. I’m more disappointed in the bad attitudes over the lack of gold. Fact is…it’s all a race. the winners won, ‘cos they were slightly faster. we don’t need excuses, as if there is some other special secret reason why someone else, god forbid…won. someone else got gold, cos they were faster. full stop.

  5. I’ll tell you what it is gorgeous miss P. Sadly, Australia has aligned itself more with the US than the UK. Look around you as there are many examples of this. You can’t embrace your past and object on the whole the fact that there was a huge British influence in the history of Oz.
    I’m done bagging it now as I love Australia, it’s given me so much more than I ever dreamed of here. The Aussie flag suits me, a small union jack and a large southern cross. I just feel people should be careful what they wish for or one day there might be a Chinese flag up in the corner instead!!! Conversation for another time perhaps.
    Poms on top now 😉

  6. Missed the paper this week so wondered if you had a column? So impressed with last week I can’t wait to see what’s next? Not much change in attitude with the Olympics….Its just so funny to hear how gutted us Poms are from yesterday when there were 2 Aussie golds in the one event we wanted to win? Quite happy with the four golds and other medals we won actually. Still chuffed with Sally and Anna, great performances both. Let me know what days you are in the paper sweet P x

    • Hello lovely Robin – I would LOVE you to read my latest post because it’s about a truly amazing woman who has recently come into my life. YOu must google her too if you have time – Nan Witcomb………she’s wonderful. I’m meeting her face to face in Sydney soon. I can’t wait. Hope you are well……xxxxx

  7. Hang on Miss P, I”m still a shallow guy at heart, just an older one. You have found a soul mate (which is awesome) but I’m thinking – wonder what the mile high club was like in the 50’s?? Smart, striking women & men in great suits (all smoking) “my darling, I know we only met 2 hours ago but I feel like I’ve known you my whole life, (holds her shoulders) – I am going to kiss you”……and that was that!! Lol, I’m twisted & better read Nan’s book to find out what really went on but agree with you, she looks like an incredible lady who has lived an amazing life. lesson for us all, live every day………Can’t wait for the follow up after you meet, don’t forget to record it, hours of stuff there 😉
    take care gorgeous girl xx

  8. Hi Sweet P how are you? I appreciate your site isn’t Ask Amber (why not)? But I just got back from a conference in Port Douglas and the hotel staff there were mainly attractive young women in extremely short skirts. however they weren’t just pretty, they were efficient, engaging, polite & professional. I actually found it refreshing coming from the politically correct gone mad UK where there are schools whose first language is Hindu and not English!!!! is it wrong or is it good business practice? The conference was largely men and the only women who seemed to have an issue were 6 months the wrong side of Jenny Craig if you get my drift 😉 Anyhow, I wanted the opinion of gorgeous girl who I respected so over to you honey?? Xx

    • Hi Robin, that’s quite an interesting one. I do think that if you were to say the girls were all airheads and didn’t do their jobs properly then I’d say the owner/manager is a dickhead and you men should all grow up and go someone with good service rather than just good looking staff. However, clearly as perhaps the clientele may be predominently men, and men like to look at attractive women, AND these girls are also good at their jobs then it all sounds fair enough to me. I don’t believe women who are attractive and good workers should be judged unfairly because they are good looking. Every industry I’ve ever worked in has had a fair amount of attractive people working in it and that just seems to be the way it is in many areas. Just go and have a look at the junior to middle sales mgt at any radio station and what you’ll find is a whole lot of ex footy players, and a whole heap of hot blondes working alongside them. Is it right? Not always as there’s a few of those girls that aren’t quite up to a level of what many other sales people out there desperate to get a job are, but not physically hot. These hot girls will usually get the job. That’s a bit sad, but it pumps up the guys who work for them and it makes male clients want to have meetings with the company. But in your hotel case, I would also have a little empathy for the women that aren’t as hot as those girls as no doubt that makes them feel awfully uncomfortable when you blokes are ogle the staff and to be honest, it’s not really appropriate at work. So there you go Robin….a bit for both sides.

  9. Hi Amber, in my defence I dont really ogle but if I had the choice of a room with a sea view or view of the car park, I’m taking the ocean….
    I don’t really do Facebook as A) I don’t get half of it & B) what I do get is people documenting their lives (I’m going to the shops or my dog has crapped on the floor……Bla, bla
    so you my darling have been a fun & refreshing distraction from the stresses of my life and a reason to switch on my iPad in the evening so for that I thank you. however you have kicked my arse (all be it in a polite way as only you could) in your response above but serves me right for asking the question! Poms away…….;)

    • I’ve become massively bored with facebook too. I never read news feeds although feel like I should sometimes as people are reading mine so it makes you unncecessarily feel like you think your life is more interesting than theirs. When the truth is, I’m simply just busy trying to actually live my life. And I document enough of it through my columns and blogs. Good to hear you chose the Ocean views……the cark park view is only good if there’s a 1950’s car of some sort parked there. 🙂

    • oh my god, that is so bloody glamorous!!!!!! So YES, that will certainly do………… So where abouts in England did you say you were from? Guess where I lived over there>?

  10. Tring in Hertfordshire, about 50km north of London (where I worked) where surely you were living?? although for some reason I am thinking the posh side of Manchester is where you were? So where was it and what were you doing?

    • so wrong…I was in small village called Highworth near a shitty city called Swindon……………now make the comment that everyone makes when I tell them about that city?????

  11. Hello pumpkin how are you? I noticed a car ((similar to that above) on carsales – $145k. Nice,
    there was also a classic 1980 convertible that also had a hard roof in great condition and for me good value at $25k and they would probably take less – thought you would look good in this 😉

    Remember you owe me a response on the mile high club once you have spoken to Nan W…….

    • Hi there! I’m very well thank you, and you? I caught up with the wonderful Nan Witcomb in Sydney on Friday, although I didn’t think it appropriate to ask her about the mile high club…..I think she’s too much of a lady to know too much of such a club…..not a club I’d want to join…….ewwwww………I think half the time in those days they were just concentrating on not being sick…they were pretty clunky crafts back then. So getting ‘busy’ was probably not on the agenda……:)

  12. I agree. I was once on a night flight where a guy convinced a girl to go do the deed even though they had not met before hand (alcohol). After he completely blanked her for the rest of flight which made it very awkward for her and those of us still awake, After 30 mins of bragging to his mates I advised him politely that if he didn’t shut his mouth he would soon experience something else on a plane for the first time…..quiet last hour 😉

    So how was Nan, will you do a follow up post as looking forward to it.

    Life seems dull without the Olympics on…….and I’d rather beat myself to death with a banana then watch big brother. Write some more stuff baby please x

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