Horton displays no goodwill in remarks over his rival

By Shan Renping Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/8 0:58:40

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang lost the final of the 400 meter freestyle to Australian swimmer Mack Horton by a very narrow margin.

Hours before the game, Horton called Sun a "drug cheat," and in an interview after the game, he defended his accusation that Sun was a drug user. But later that day, Horton admitted that he said it on purpose to distract Sun. In response to Horton's tricky spat, Sun appealed for sportsmanship and asked for respect for all athletes.

Sun tested positive after a drug test in a national game in 2014. He was using a medication for his heart problem, but unfortunately, it contained a substance which had just been banned as a new type of stimulant. Sun was suspended for three months for this careless mistake.

Sun's explanation was later recognized by the World Anti-Doping Agency, so Sun was cleared. What's more, a de facto lifting of the ban on the substance that stumbled Sun happened in 2015.

Sun is a distinguished swimmer, and a formidable rival. It is understandable that Horton might have harbored disrespect for Sun for some time. He couldn't hold in his cynical smugness after beating Sun, and the Australian media recklessly spread Horton's rude speech.

If Horton won the competition by disrupting his rival in an immoral way, his win is disgraceful, and not in line with the spirit of the Olympics. While challenging another's morality, Horton didn't act morally.

Or perhaps if it wasn't Horton's original intention, then it's the fault of the Australian media.

Instead of leading Horton to show goodwill to his competitor, it framed him with inconsiderate questions. Whatever the real reasons, Horton has no reason to feel proud of what he said about Sun. 

Actually we think Australia should feel embarrassed with Horton's remarks. Otherwise, we would be surprised by some Australians' sense of collective self-esteem.

If it was Sun who did the same, bragging about his little tricks after the win, Chinese media would by no means encourage him by spreading his words.

We don't know if it is Horton who is silly or it's the Australian media that is evil, or perhaps Australia just has a different moral standard. The message sent is abnormal and aberrant.

It's not a big deal to us. In many serious essays written by Westerners, Australia is mentioned as a country at the fringes of civilization. In some cases, they refer to the country's early history as Britain's offshore prison. This suggests that no one should be surprised at uncivilized acts emanating from the country. We should think the same way.

Posted in: Observer

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