Could you do that? No. Could David Beckham? No. Could Beth Tweddle earn a percentage point of his income? No. Is life just?
I totally agreed with Robert Kitson’s column in The Guardian today that lamented the relative prominence of news stories on Monday; reflecting on the weekend’s sporting achievements.
Like many, I was enthralled by Jenson Button’s critic-bashing performance. Sublime, determined and gutsy.
Well done mate. You showed the sneering hacks.
It wasn’t a bloody patch on Beth Tweddle’s.
My youngest daughter knocked her pan in for a number of years as a member of our nearest gymnastics club (10 miles away as it happens). She grew muscles that put me to shame. She was fit as a butcher’s dog. She had extraordinary strength AND flexibility and yet she was at the bottom of the gymnastics ladder.
Gymnastics is for superheroes and you better believe it.
And Britain (as Kitson rightly points out) is football’s equivalent of the Isle of Man (reserves) on the world gymnastics stage.
So, the fact that Tweddle crashed and burned in her top apparatus (the asymetric bars) where she had previously gained our ONLY EVER world gold, yet picked herself up to qualify for the floor final was a feat of incredulity in itself.
But that wasn’t the end.
She won it.
Yes. She won it.
Unlike Andy Murray.
Unlike any British golfer in the sport we taught the world, in a major, in ten years.
Unlike England’s football team since 1966.
Unlike all of our highest paid sports, ahem, personalities in most of their disciplines.
But Beth did.
We voted for Beth to win Sports Personality of the Year the last time she won gold. Fat chance.
This time, she didn’t even hit the bloody headlines. That achievement should have been front page news. Not in the sports sections – in the main papers.
It’s a bloody crying shame.
Beth Tweddle. We, the Gormans, salute you…