Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Olympic silver medalist Sonia O'Sullivan bemoans lack of commitment from some Irish athletes

Friday, August 09, 2013

Olympic silver medalist Sonia O'Sullivan bemoans lack of commitment from some Irish athletes

In a recent interview in Australia with Conor George of the Irish Independent, Sonia O'Sullivan didn't mince her words when she outlined her thoughts on the lack of commitment and competitive drive from some Irish athletes. She was particularly critical on their lack of interest in taking part in top meets around Europe prior to major championships to sharpen their performance.

In the interview, she said this about the recent Grand Prix athletics meet in England..."As one of the main meets in Europe and being so close to Ireland, I was absolutely astonished at the lack of Irish involved. You hear and read about Irish athletes doing well, but are they really? Surely if you're at a certain level, you'll do everything you can to get into a meet like that? Then when you go to the World Championships it's not such a jump up in standard."

She was particularly scathing about the lack of ambition and drive from some Irish athletes...."I never before heard so many (Irish) athletes refer to themselves as 'Olympians' – as if that was the greatest thing ever. It didn't seem to matter how you performed there, just getting there was good enough.....Once they got the standard there was a bit of relief and people start to relax.....There seems to be something of an acceptance of mediocrity....You're investing all this money and you're getting no medal or even the satisfaction of the athlete going out there and running well. Where is the accountability?"

Coming from someone who was one of the best athletes in the world, it's sure to ruffle a few feathers.

The full interview and article can be seen on the Irish Independent website

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Sonia the Chef de Mission (or whatever) for the Irish team at the London Olympics??? She seemed happy enough to be photographed every two minutes with that torch at the time, why didn't she criticise the "olympians" back then??

Gearoid said...

I suspect some may point to Sonia's last Olympics and ask why she participated given her dismal performance. From memory, I think she herself afterwards that she wanted to take part in one more Olympics. And given her magnificent career, I am sure most people would say she was entitled to that. Particularly given she was denied Olympic glory in the past due to drug cheats.
However it does mean you cannot credibly come along years later and start talking as Sonia is doing now and not have facts pointed out.

Anonymous said...

well she performed regularly on the world stage at euro and world championships back when she was competing
i think her point is that gettig to the olympics is the be all and end all when it shouldnt be. While its important they should also be striving to better themselves further by competing regularly in euros and worlds etc

Anonymous said...

sonia is right,as another cork legend(roy keane) said no more moral victories, don,t be happy to just have qualified lets mix it with the worlds best(like he did) and show them we,re just as good as them. athletes should follow s,s
sonia,s and roy,s example and they won,t go too far wrong.



oniaonia

Anonymous said...

sonia is right, the days of just qualifying for major champs and being happy with that should be long gone irish athletes should striving to win medals and titles. look what roy keane did, pure determination and drive not accepting second best.he should be the roll model for our athletes

Anonymous said...

the girl sounds a bit cranky. i think she is a bit like jerry kiernan these days. considering she was the chef de mission, this is a bit unfair of her

GearĂ³id said...

That Gearoid is not me, in case anyone thinks it is.
All I'll say is that very very very few people have had Sonia's raw talent..
Garry Lee