Not to be outdone by its British counterpart, the Australian Olympic Committee now has its own controversy to address: Its decision to send two swimmers home immediately after they compete in London. There will be no closing ceremony for swimmers Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk.
The decision was made a few days ago following a photo that was posted by the swimmers on their Facebook pages. The photo, which was recently taken when the swimmers were training the United States, shows D’Arcy and Monk posing with firearms in an American gun shop. When the Australian Olympic Committee learned of the photo, it required the swimmers to remove it from their Facebook pages. Yet there was more to come: While both swimmers will be allowed to compete in their respective races, they will be required to return to Australia immediately thereafter and not participate in the closing ceremony.
Most likely the decision to punish D’Arcy and Monk stems from earlier transgressions by the two swimmers:
- In 2008 D’Arcy qualified for the Beijing Olympics but was not allowed to attend due to pending assault charges of which he was later convicted. D’Arcy was convicted of assaulting a fellow swimmer in a brawl after the 2008 Olympic Trials. In December 2011 D’Arcy was ordered to pay damages to his victim, which he claimed he was unable to pay, declaring bankruptcy.
- In November 2011, Kenrick Monk claimed he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident from which he sustained a broken elbow, an injury that jeopardized his Olympic chances. Further investigation found that Monk had fabricated the story because he didn’t want official to find out that the injuries were actually the result of a skateboarding accident. Monk was not supposed to be participating in any “high impact sports.” Monk was lucky in that the police decided not to press charges.
The decision has caused an uproar fans and athletes alike, including this fan here. I fail to find the harm in posting a photo that was meant to be humorous. The swimmers weren’t posing in team uniforms. They weren’t wearing any Olympic medals, posing with other trophies. Nor were they in London at the Olympics when the photo was taken. It’s obvious that neither D’Arcy nor Monk possess sound judgement. Their previous scandals show them to be immature and brash, and the Facebook photo would suggest they haven’t matured much. But does posting this photo on Facebook really warrant such dramatic action? Hardly. D’Arcy and Monk were already swimming in dangerous waters from their previous activities. The officials’ punishment seems to be their way of trying to have the last laugh with two swimmers who are a poor representation of Australia. But come on, you’ve to to come up with something better than this!
Faster, Higher, Stronger.
Published with permission from The Olympic Fanatic.