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'Why I'm glad Nick D'Arcy lost his race.'

Olympian, Nick D’Arcy

by PAUL MURRAY

I wish nothing but the worst for Nick D’Arcy at the Olympics.

I don’t wish him ill or harm as a person but as a representative of Australia I hope he comes last. For those who don’t know, Nick D’Arcy was banned from the 2008 games after assaulting fellow teammate Simon Cowley at a party to celebrate making the team.

In 2009 D’Arcy pleaded guilty to ‘recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm’ and was given a 14 month suspended jail sentence. D’Arcy apologized in court, but according to Cowley’s lawyer he has never said sorry directly to his victim.

(ed’s note: according to this article Nick D’Arcy has in fact apologised to Simon Cowley in court)

Simon Cowley’s injuries were brutal. He had corrective jaw, nose and cheekbone surgery. His mouth was wired shut for some time and had to eat through a straw. He still has titanium plates in his face. His life was changed forever.

In 2011 Cowley sued D’Arcy and won. Nick D’Arcy was told to pay $180,000+ compensation for what he did.

Less than four months later D’Arcy filed for Bankruptcy. Cowley’s lawyer said he did it to avoid paying the damages. To this day I understand he has not got a cent from D’Arcy for the life long injuries he caused.

Flash-forward to this week and D’Arcy is in London on the Australian Olympic team. I tweeted last night that ‘I wish him nothing but the worst at the Olympics’ and people went nuts.

Most agreed strongly but some were just stupid in their retorts: I was Un-Australian for bagging him, give him a go and worst of all he’s paid for his crime.

That’s the whole point – he hasn’t, and until he does, I won’t wish him anything but the worst.

It is drummed into us all day that these guys represent us in the pool, on the track and on the court. But there is NO WAY that Nick D’Arcy represents me or any other decent, sports loving, Olympics watching Australian.

 Paul Murray is a broadcaster on Sky News and 2UE in Sydney. Follow him @PMOnAir on Twitter.

Were you cheering Nick D’Arcy on during his swim overnight?

Managing Editor’s Note:

When Paul Murray (the author of this post) tweeted last night about Nick D’Arcy, he definitely caught people’s attention.When he agreed to write a piece for Mamamia about the reaction his tweet received and the reasons behind his feelings, we wanted to publish it for several reasons:

Firstly, we are an opinion site and that means we publish people’s opinions. Posts aren’t necessarily always the opinion of Mia or of the editorial team but it’s important that we share a variety of views on a subject like this one.

Of course there are some opinions we simply won’t give airtime to – such as those that are racist, sexist or homophobic. But more generally, Mamamia isn’t just a platform for people who all think the same thing. Diversity of opinion is interesting and we’ll continue to make sure we deliver that.

Secondly, we honestly believe that Paul has done a rare thing in articulating his feelings about not wanting an Australian to be successful at the Olympics. It’s unusual that Australians are willing to publicly criticise our athletes for any reason – but most particularly during times of international competition, like the Olympics.

The discussion about how we support our Olympians and their position as role models and people of influence in our community is fascinating. We’re a sports-loving nation and anything but fierce pride in our athletes and their achievements is definitely out of the ordinary. So this sort of candidness that Paul displayed was of interest to us and we thought it would be to readers as well.

-Jamila Rizvi

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