Ever since the London Olympics ended last year I have been waiting to hear more about our one and only gold medallist, trampolinist Rosannagh MacLennan. As our only gold medallist at that Olympics I was expecting and naively hoping for a great deal of fanfare, hoopla and general riotous ado upon her return to Canada. I assumed, wrongly, that at the very least she would be the automatic choice to carry the flag for Canada at the closing ceremonies.
But no, she won her medal and seemingly dropped right off the media map and even the Olympic charts in the wake of the antics of the Canadian women's soccer team who didn't even win a gold medal for our country. Perhaps their low brow language and arguing with refs made for more colourful media presentation, but how crass of our own country's Olympic committee to overlook Rosie in the carrying of the Canadian flag. So the soccer players raised Canadian women's soccer to a higher level of attention on the Olympic stage, so did Rosie for women's trampoline.
Ever since the Olympics I have continued to see media updates, particularly about Christine Sinclair and rarely so much of a mention of Ms. MacLennan. It has been very annoying to me.
So this evening I did another internet search looking for some news info about our one and only Gold Medal champion from the London Olympics of 2012. There was very little. From what I can gather the only event worthy of mention by the national media that she was asked to participate in was the laying of a wreath last Remembrance Day at the national ceremony in Ottawa.
Apparently that is all. No other invitations for important Canadian events, sports related or otherwise. Nada. Nothing. Zip Doodly.
I had a look at her website, read her post-Olympic blog entries and discovered she spent some time in Liberia last fall, sponsored by CIDA, participating in the Right To Play programme. It seems it has been a very meaningful experience for her in her own life and I am sure she inspired many of the children she was in contact with there. I suppose it was reported somewhere that I missed seeing, but nothing showed up tonight on the www.
Since the Olympics ended there have been a plethora of news items in Canada about the colourful Ms, Sinclair, even my brand of laundry detergent has given her sponsorship and I have no desire to take anything away from her or her excellent soccer skills, but I would really enjoy seeing Ms. MacLennan receive some better national support for her own Olympic skills in trampoline...GOLD medal skills!
It is wonderful that our women's soccer team medalled in 2012. But Rosie brought home our only gold medal. Apparently her quiet, humble personality is not exciting enough for our media nor our national sports organizations to give her the fanfare she rightfully deserved then and deserves now. Not making her our flag bearer at the closing ceremonies was a gigantic slap in the face.
Yes, I am an outsider to the wheelings and dealing behind the scenes at such a huge international event and there may have been reasons for the seeming slight that I have no knowledge of. Ms. MacLennan may have been just fine with the whole idea of not being our flag bearer, but if there are good reasons to ignore our one and only gold medal winner it would have been nice for those of us at home looking on to have been privy to some of those reasons.
I speak only for myself, but it irritated me at the time and continues to irritate me that a non-gold medalist has become our media's and national event planners' darling, fantastic athlete as she is, but then her whole team is equally worthy of attention........
There, now I feel better.