13 June 2018
Olympic athletes are beginning to arrive at our (so far, so good) UK borders. Sporting their clean white trainers and neatly laundered track suits, they are shining examples of young hopefuls, dreaming of a place in sporting history at London 2012. But will their reputations stay clean? Or will their dirty laundry be aired in public while they have their backs turned on the track? Our young Olympians may have trained for years for the events about to unfold this summer. But the British press may be an obstacle they forgot to envisage. Notoriously competitive, the British tabloids in particular love nothing better than to hand up — trophy-like – a story of hope, sacrifice and success. But, when they have made a hero out of the boy or girl ‘done good', they turn to rooting around for some saucy secrets, knocking the golden boy or girl off the pedestal on which they — and we — placed them. Coping with the pressure of the press is an every day occurrence for anyone putting themselves on public display, be they pop star, politician or pole-vaulter. The sparking reputations of our athletic youth may easily be tarnished at the mere sniff of performance enhancing drugs, emblazoned across the front pages. Their private lives can be at risk as former friends and lovers rush from the starting blocks to grab their fifteen minutes of fame in exchange for a sensational sex-pose. Having spent their days in chilly swimming pools or protected training rooms, becoming a household name may be a greater shock than our hopeful heroes might have imagined. In the July / August edition of Spears Wealth Management contribute to the Olympic Special, with an article about coping with intrusive media in these shores. Whether you just can't wait for the Games to begin, or whether you are dreading the invasion of millions for London 2012, spare a thought for the athletes and the unexpected pressures that they may have to face. Whether they win or lose, they are all good fodder for the news.