Mealy-mouthed comments are a real disgrace - Argus Friday 19th August 2016

Posted Sunday 21st August 2016   By Ericka Waller

So Laura Trott’s sister said “She’s not worked harder than anyone else” while being interviewed on Good Morning Britain. For those of you have been living under a rock, Laura Trott is our four-time Olympic gold medalist. Emma went on to say “it was the hours of sacrifice, not just that we made from not going to school discos or going out with friends or the sacrifices that mum and dad made for us." Poor girl. She went on to explain how she was really the deserving medal winner “The amount of times that Laura kicked up a fuss on hills because dad and I were dropping her [and she said], ‘if you don’t slow down I’m going to ring mum, she can come and pick me up’. And I think back to them moments and I think how on earth was she the one that made it to be Olympic champion you know.”

Well she has an Olympic attitude of self-pity and bitterness, I'll give her that. 

I’m guessing Laura was the one who made it because she has a far better attitude and an iron will.

I’ve got a turbo trainer in my garage, a clever contraption that you fix your bike to. I also have a nifty app called Zwift, a 3D landscape cycling experience. You plonk your PC in front of your fixed bike, log-in and boom! You can scale the Pyrenees, compete in the Tour De France or London 100, right from the safety and comfort of your own home. 

Except it’s not safe or comfortable at all.  It’s excruciatingly painful, and that’s before you attempt a ‘sprint’. I scream at myself, I heave, I cry. I shout for the children to ‘must have water… fetch water quick!’.  Anyone passing my closed garage door would be alarmed at the state of me.

It is not even real. I am not going anywhere, literally, and I do not have the weight of my country’s expectation on my shoulders, just three bored children who want me to hurry up and make lunch.

Cycling is not just about your legs. ‘Anyone’ could not do it’. It’s about finding strength in pain. It’s pushing your body to its limit, and then a bit further. Laura Trott is an inspiration to women. 

She’s 24 and the epitome of ‘fit not skinny’ a vital body image needed in our appearance-obsessed society. She’s the ideal role model for my daughters to look up to. A ‘normal’ girl with an abnormal capacity for endurance and hard work.

Her sister, on the other hand, is a perfect example of why us women let one another down. We are so good at finding loose threads in one-another and unravelling them. 

Her deliberate underwhelmed response to her sister is appalling. She should be riding high one her sister’s riding career, not trying to lessen her success.

To deny her sister praise and recognition, the things we all want from our family, is nothing short of cruel.

I took my daughters to the London Museum last week and taught them all about the Suffragette movement, women throwing themselves under horses, starving themselves in prison. Not for themselves, for their ‘daughter’s daughters’. For us. 

Look how far women have come since then. If she can’t celebrate her own sister’s Olympic standard achievements, maybe she could just be proud to be a woman right now.

And finally,         

It’s wonderful to see the Olympics has inspired our insipid society. It has really bought out the hidden athletes in us all. Holiday makers in Benidorm raced to get sun loungers round the pool this week, and when I say raced I mean it.  After hotel staff at Hotel Flamingo Oasis in the Spanish resort shouted ‘GO’ sun-worshippers rampaged for prime seats.

One speedy fellow quickly made his way to the front and spread four towels along the edge of the pool in rapid succession, while others stopped to grab sun-loungers, (yes plural. No mean feat with all those ‘all you can eat’ breakfasts inside them). Some went for the plastic chairs, anything to claim their pool-side space.

Apparently, and somewhat surprisingly, the competitors managed to remain civil with one another the whole time.

I think this approach should be integrated into our society. I say do away with Doctor’s appointments! We should all have to wait outside at 9am and be seen on a first ran, first served basis. Same for parent’s evenings appointments and shopping queues. It would soon sort the wheat from the chaff as my dad would say, and we’d all be getting fitter. 

I’m off to France next week (panic not haters, I’ll still be writing my column). I am going to attempt this approach to the luggage line and when trying to find seats on the plane.

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