FAR be it from me to complain about seeing David Beckham’s face. Or any bit of him actually. Those carefully plucked eyebrows. The tattoos. That cheeky smile. I make no apologies, I offer no defence, to me Becks is beautiful. But even I can sense overkill.
Sportswear, aftershave, underpants – Brand Beckham is unsurpassed when it comes to making us buy stuff. But Beckham as the face of the Paralympics? Can that be right? It’s great that Sainsbury’s has a sponsorship deal with the biggest multi-sport event for athletes with a physical disability but choosing Becks as their brand ambassador? What disability does he have?
It’s not that I don’t welcome his support for the Games. It’s just that there are plenty of disabled athletes who could be worthy ambassadors for their Games and their sports and other people who like them have disabilities.
Aren’t we allowed to see them? Don’t we think they can speak for themselves and share their own stories of awesome sporting achievement and ambition? People with disabilities don’t exactly suffer from too much media attention and the Paralympics is the opportunity to redress that. A bit. For at least 12 days every four years. Beckham isn’t in need of the exposure.
In a week’s time, the Paralympic Flame Festival takes place in Edinburgh. Three days later the Games begin and Scottish athletes will compete in events from swimming to archery, volleyball to boccia. Cyclist Aileen McGlynn from Paisley won two gold medals in Beijing and may bag another in the velodrome. Peter McGuire from Hamilton is a world championship silver medallist (with his brother, Stephen) boccia player who may add to his trophy cabinet. I could go on. Scotland has a squad of more than 20 athletes going to the Games. We feature some of them in our Spectrum magazine today. But let’s get them on billboards and on the telly. Let’s celebrate their achievements.
I love you David Beckham with your daft haircuts and your permanently arched eyebrow, but this time I’d rather see and hear from the truly inspirational individuals rather than just gaze at your pretty face.
ANOTHER phizog I could live without seeing is that of Russell Brand, the man whose father took to Facebook, minutes after his son’s contribution to the Olympic closing ceremony, with the words “oh dear”. Still, though, the mauling Brand received from Peter Hitchens on Newsnight during a discussion about treatments for drug addicts last week was outrageous. Brand advocates abstinence rather than Methadone treatment for drug addicts. Hitchens advocates, well, general intolerance. New figures show that drug and drink related deaths in Scotland are at a record high. Methadone was implicated in almost half. Might it be that Brand has a point?
WHEN it comes to international news, we can rest easy in the knowledge that Kevin Doyle of Conde Nast Traveller has his finger on the pulse. Doyle spent nine days on the road with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the woman who advises Barack Obama on all matters foreign. But never mind her views on Syria, or Russia or North Korea, the “intimate detail” Doyle decided we must know is that Clinton “does not sweat. Literally. She does not even glow.” Words fail me.
• Last week Claire... while cycling down the east coast had a MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra) pulling alongside her in traffic to demand if she’d considered wearing a helmet
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
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