When it comes to rivalries between nations in anything, I think it’s usually deeper and more tense (and hilarious) when it’s between next-door neighbours, like Singapore and Malaysia. I like to call it ‘sibling rivalry’. It can be petty and silly to downright nasty, and naturally it’s most scathing online in the form of comments made by blissfully anonymous users.
But I don’t remember coming across anything so unbelievably childish, so blatantly mean-spirited as this: Australia’s Channel 9, their official broadcaster of the London Olympics, had reportedly wiped their neighbour New Zealand off their top 10 Olympic medal table on national television. This happened days ago when New Zealand held the tenth spot on the medal ranking.
I read about it in this article published last Saturday 4th August. Excerpt:
“Can’t believe Channel 9 only showed top 9 in medal tally plus Australia, then admitted we didn’t want to be reminded NZ were 10th,” Sydney Morning Herald journalist Brad Walter tweeted.
The two gold medals won by rowers, double scullers Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, and single sculler Mahe Drysdale lifted New Zealand, albeit briefly, above Australia in the race for overall Olympic glory.
New Zealand’s three golds and two bronze medals is now good enough for 11th on medal table while Australia is languishing in 18th position with one gold, eight silvers and four bronzes.
And then earlier today I was stupefied again to see the photo below, where an Australian newspaper had apparently put New Zealand and Australia in the same box, combining their medals and calling the combo ‘Aus Zealand’. Now that is so hilarious and bizarre that it has got to be a joke. A cheeky take on solidarity.
Maybe Aussies and Kiwis just have a really wicked and rough-and-tumble sense of humour that I just don’t get, or something? Or something.