Saturday, August 4, 2012

Olympics: Britain’s Olympic ‘foreign legion’ angers critics

"The sharp influx of overseas-based athletes into the ranks of Britain’s Olympic hopefuls has divided opinion, as the host nation attempts to secure a record medal haul at London 2012.

To their supporters, athletes such as the United States-born hurdler Tiffany Porter have every right to don British colours in London provided they fulfil the eligibility criteria set down by Olympic chiefs.

Critics however disparage the likes of Porter as a “Plastic Brit”, holding her up as a symbol of a perceived win-at-all-costs selection philosophy that flouts the Olympic spirit, if not necessarily the rulebook.

“Roughly one-fifth of the Great Britain Olympic team is not British and while, to some extent, this positively reflects the cosmopolitan make-up of our country, in the extreme cases… it amounts to little more than cheating,” was the scathing assessment of Daily Mail chief sports writer Martin Samuel."

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