Golden dreams and minor medals with meaning

Article by Will Swanton courtesy of The Australian.

Little old Australia. Punching above its weight. Population, a mere 25 million. Cut off from the world by Covid-19. Fighting just to get to the Olympics. Winning a record-equalling 17 gold medals. Little old Australia. What an eclectic group of winners. The swimmers. A BMX bandit. Canoeists. Sailors. Rowers.

Little old Australia with its love of water – on it and in it, through it

– backwards and forwards, with paddles, sails and true grit.

And our newest Olympian … a skateboarder. How free they looked. They were the fortunate few. They got to take off their masks and do what they loved. They did it well. So well.

Little old Australia. Population just a fraction of every other nation atop the medal tally.

Stars were born: Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus, Kaylee McKeown. Characters were revealed: Peter Bol, Rohan Browning, Cedric Dubler.

Dubler! Showing us what mateship means … when all you want is your mate to win an Olympic medal, be buggered with your own race plan.

Minor medals bursting with meaning: Cate Campbell, Emily Seebohm, Melissa Wu.

Our beach volleyballers reclaiming the sand, our Kookaburras going oh so close.

When Nicola McDermott high-jumped to silver, she had a smile on her dial and tears streaming down her cheeks. That woman jumped for joy.

And finally, magnificently, a curse was broken: Patty and the Boomers got their medal.

Little old Australia, eh? It had a good Olympics. Phenomenally good. Ooh la la, Paris is only a hop, skip, paddle, and a jump away.