Tiger Woods and the Lifecycle of a Sports Star

The thrill of sporting success was ours for a moment there, when Amy Williams won gold for the UK at the Winter Olympics.

It was a time to feel proud that despite no proper facilities and a spindly sledge, a gifted amateur could cross over to the big time and bring home the first individual Olympic Gold for 30 years. Hurray !

But what a contrast over at the other end of the sporting life-cycle. There was Tiger Woods on a podium pleading for his career, or that’s what it felt like.  Cowed and broken he apologised in as many ways as his publicists could think of, with hand on heart -Tony Blair style-  for emphasis.

Was it so long ago that we were hailing Tiger Woods for his amazing achievements? The world number one who broke through the race barrier and gave hope to millions of mixed race and coloured kids. Yes you too can play golf (if that is what you really want to do.)

One of the facts that comes up about Tiger Woods and his career is that he has amassed the biggest earnings of any player in PGA tour  history.

Which of course is the problem.

Unlimited cash, unlimited opportunities to get up to no good and hang the carefully crafted image of a family man.

Amy Williams has broken down no barriers to civil rights, facts about her come more homespun.  She likes to make tiaras in her spare time. Her nickname is CurlyWurly.  She calls her skeleton sledge “Arthur”. (So far we have no details on Tiger’s pet names but please lets not go there.)

She is at the stage in her career where we are getting to know her and would rather hear about her cutesy side than about her ambition and undoubted steely determination.

Amy is no doubt being lined up for a big future. Agents, sponsors, I get the idea all would be welcome to allow her to carry on training and winning medals. And goodness she deserves it !

At the other end of the sporting spectrum Tiger Woods vows to respect golf (perhaps respecting women might have been a better idea ?) and the money men crank up the clamour for his return.

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