- Two-thirds want cannabis legalised
- Taxi register confusion clarified
- Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl'
- New party wants seats for cyclists
- Epic walk 'changed our lives'
- 'There’s mortars going off now in Donetsk'
- 'I don't trust them. Watch your bills'
- 'Show some backbone': Napthine's message to UN, Putin
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What we're talking about
- Mark on Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl' Where's penny Wong now , Brian Taylor got hung drawn and quartered for his poof comment and yet no penny Wong standing up in ... more
- Stephen on Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl' No you're not a typical Aussie Girl! You're a disgrace and it has nothing to do with your gender either! You are in public ... more
- poppitt on Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl' If any male pollie mentioned a part of a womans body he would be walked over hot coals. This type of 'talk' is not ... more
- Gazza on Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl' If all politicians behaved like normal aussies the world would be a better place. Unfortunately this will never happen as ... more
- Willow on Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl' Would like to know how the people of Tassy, who voted for her, feel now. more
- bushiepete on Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl' at least we know what we got with this pollie. shes not afraid to speak her mind ..unlike the rest of the fence sitters ... more
- Sinbad on Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl' Two weeks ago, Brian Taylor gets vilified and lambasted for a throw away insult you would hear numerous times in any ... more
- Judi Pickett on Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl' Jacqui Lambie stating she's just a normal Aussie Girl? Neil, you need a mini survey on her comments, as I'd say the public, ... more
- mylene on Lambie: 'I'm a normal Aussie girl' The Prime Minister's comments on women, homosexuals and Aborigines make her look like a beginner. Leave offensiveness to the ... more
- Mandi on 'There’s mortars going off now in ... I agree Mylene they have an extremely deranged veiw on this horrific tragedy which is making the situation so much more ... more
- Milton on Epic walk 'changed our lives' Well done guys! more
- mylene on 'There’s mortars going off now in ... Back in the trenches in WWI we all stopped fighting for Xmas dinner and even played a game of soccer with the hun. These ... more
- jgl Melb on 'I don't trust them. Watch your bills' Power companies are slowly overhauling politicians and journalists as the masters of verbal gymnastics more
- Daniel on 'Dumb, stupid, but not homophobic' And now you're contributing to the problem Neil. It's not the fact that he just said 'something wrong' it's his mentality. ... more
- Eleanor Steel on 'Dumb, stupid, but not homophobic' Get rid of Taylor 3aw doesn't need an idiot big mouth like him!908DPC more
- Richie on 'Dumb, stupid, but not homophobic' Hearing Taylor lose his cool tonight on Sports Today when questioned about why some people don't see the apology as being ... more
- Delboy on 'Dumb, stupid, but not homophobic' The guy is living in the 80's. You can tell that by the mo. Lost me. more
- bc on 'Dumb, stupid, but not homophobic' brian taylor 2m words BIG MOUTH more
- poppitt on 'Dumb, stupid, but not homophobic' On 3aw last week you had 'like a girl' I was so pleased, I thought people are realising what they say has meaning. Now this ... more
- Stephen on 'Dumb, stupid, but not homophobic' Yet again political correctness gone mad!! Where does it stop I'm short for example as many are can we start demanding what ... more
Heroes in Hell: Olympic gold medallists' lives falling apart
You have to wonder about our sports system. We worship our athletes and put them on pedestal.
We celebrate them, call them heroes, train them and give them parades when they succeed. But it is clear today we don’t care for them and support them in the way we should.
Diver Matthew Mitcham, the man who won a gold medal in Beijing, who is bright, lively and entertaining, is revealed as a disturbed man. He has admitted in a book he has written that he had a problem with one of the most addictive and illegal drugs: Crystal Meth.
He smoked it regularly; he would sit in the car and smoke it, sometimes during a break in training.
It had hold of him and it is desperately addictive. He has also suffered deep clinical depression and had been self-harming; slashing and himself and mutilating himself.
This man has been hospitalised, treated or anti-depressants, and smoking a highly-dangerous drug. And all this when he was an elite athlete – the cream of the country, top in the world, trained and feted in Australia.
One basic question here: Why did nobody know? Why was there nobody in this massive Olympic machine who said: ‘Hang on, this bloke has a problem.’
How did he hide it? Why was there no regular support system where this came out?
The same thing happened with Ian Thorpe. He was clinically depressed and told few people. He was abusing alcohol, a drunk.
So here we have two of our best athletes, Olympic gold medallists, with their lives falling apart at the same time they were national heroes. Nobody knew and nobody did anything.
As an employer, if this was one of my staff, I would feel I had failed. I would feel I should have done something.
Somehow here, Australia has failed. The system should have picked this up. It did not, it failed.
Is it the nature of the driven people who enter the sport and make it to the top? Is it the sport that drives them to these levels of depression and desperation? Is it the chicken or the egg? Is it the nature of the person who becomes the elite athlete? Or is it being an elite athlete that drives them to it?
Matthew Mitcham is still diving. He will not be punished by Olympic officials, but seriously you also have to ask: Why did drug testing not turn this up?
And if it has happened in these cases, Thorpe, Mitcham and Chantelle Newbery, an Athens diving gold medallist who was hospitalised for depression as well, you gave to ask how many of our so-called young sports heroes have desperately dark and serious problems underneath all those medals.
Heroes in Hell.
LISTEN: Olympian Matthew Welsh speaks with Neil Mitchell:
Why did nobody know about this prior to him admitting it? Because fame influences things, often in bizarre ways. By his own (Mitcham) admission, he did everything to lie to the people around him about his habit. Nobody forced him to do meth. It's just another sad example of somebody who let the fame go to his head. I think his career as an athlete is over personally. He crashed and bombed at the most recent Olympics. If he spent as much time being honest instead of partying, his head would be in a better place. But its all very familiar, admit your demons in a book deal and then be celebrated for "being honest" - but I ask, if he was so honest, then why not come out and say so before now? Because like all drug users, they lie. To hide their habit.Greg Monday 26 November, 2012 - 4:32 AM
You all are just jealous that you were never a high performance athlete!
Being a professional athlete is a job just like yours that requires hard work on a daily basis. No one is perfect and pressure can be hard to handle. So for those of you with mean comments, you should be ashamed.butterfly Wednesday 21 November, 2012 - 12:18 AM
Neil, a Hero to me is somebody that risks his life to save others, not somebody that can run or swim faster than anybody else.gez Tuesday 20 November, 2012 - 3:52 AM
Few people realise the stresses that the best athletes are put under to 'achieve'; not only from external sources but most importantly, from the self drive that is needed to succeed, and the resultant devastating sense of failure when their performance is less than perfect.Marc Murrey Monday 19 November, 2012 - 8:22 PM
Take his medals off him.Milton Monday 19 November, 2012 - 2:24 PM
The word hero dose not fit any sports person the media gets carried away with the over use of the hero word>.Steve Monday 19 November, 2012 - 1:43 PM