Have I mentioned that Australians love their sport. No? Well, Australians love their sport. With the Olympics just a week away, the sport frenzy is just about to begin. Nearly every Sports Reporter in Australia has made his/her way to Beijing to witness and report on the 2008 Olympic Games. Our daily dose of media has already begun to refer to all things Olympic.
For the most part, Australians are not that nationalistic. They don't bandy around Australian flags at any given opportunity. They don't play their national anthem at the beginning of any and all major sporting events. They don't really even do much to celebrate Australia Day which is the closest thing they have to the 4th of July. We have never attended any Australia Day parades, seen any Australia Day fireworks, but we've enjoyed the public holiday. When polled, many Australians are at a loss to be able to sing all the words to their very own national anthem.
Now, don't get me wrong, it's not the the Australians aren't a proud people, they are. They are very keen to point out the unique aspects of their culture and their country when you speak to them. They don't however, seem to feel the need to come together and celebrate themselves. They are a bit too low key for that. Not reserved, but relaxed. They just aren't in to the hoopla I suppose.
The story changes, however, when sport becomes involved. If the Australian National team of any sport is competing against another nation, the Australians are there supporting them. It doesn't matter which sport is in question--the World Cup Soccer, Davis Cup Tennis, The Ashes, and the list goes on. When it's Australia against the world in sport, the Aussies wake up, start paying attention and begin to sing their songs and wave their flags. You start to get the feeling they are united and maybe, slightly just slightly patriotic.
There have already been small signs of this shift toward Olympic inspired patriotism in the advertising on television. Have a look and you'll notice quite a few subtle references to sport as the thing that brings Australians together.
So look for these crazed Aussies during the Olympics. They won't be wearing the Red, White and Blue of the Australian flag, they compete in the Green and Gold. These are specific colours used for Australian national sporting teams. You might also see them carrying around their national sports mascot, the boxing kangaroo. He's made his way to many an Olympic podium. They'll be chanting things like, "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!". Singing their unofficial national anthem, which coincidentally most people seem to know better than the real one, Waltzing Matilda.
Yes, they'll be there cheering on their chosen representatives with all their heart and soul. And for those two weeks they'll be outwardly proud, unified, flag waving and rife with hoopla. Then, they'll sit back and relax again...until the next major sporting event that is.
Tomfoolery by Ree
18 hours ago