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Hero to zero - Oscar's folly

All it takes is two minutes of airtime and you can go from major hero to major zero. This was the case this week for our very own blade runner, everyone's darling and poster-boy of our Paralympic team, Oscar Pistorius.
After his shocking defeat in the 200m race on Monday night, which obviously took him by complete surprise having never lost a 200m race before, his reaction came from the heart and not from the head. And the worst was the entire world was watching and listening...

Yes, the next day he apologised - but and this is a big but, was anyone really listening then? And did they really believe it was genuine on his part or did he suddenly realise the massive public relations mistake he'd made.

Rudyard Kipling in the late 1800s said "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." And nothing's changed in the last 212 years...

If you're 'Pisted off', think about what you plan to say. Then don't!

The moral of the story is never face a microphone without thinking about what you're going to say especially when totally pissed off.

This is also true when it comes to Twitter. Recently we've seen how Tweets have also taken down sporting heroes such as Kevin Pietersen - again ill-considered or sent in anger.

So what should Oscar have done? He should have rushed to congratulate Brazilian Alan Oliveira and then taken his own bow, which would have been met with the same adulation he had always received. It would also have meant that next time out he'd be cheered on even more.

Is it now too late? Can he retrieve his golden boy image? Unlikely. The public is funny like that - they can turn as quickly as they love. He'll just have to wait until he walks out on that track later this week for the 400 and 100m races and see if he receives the usual roar from the crowd. Talk about adding pressure...

About Marion Scher

Marion Scher ( is an award-winning journalist, lecturer, media trainer and consultant with 25 years' experience in the industry. For more of her writing, go to her Bizcommunity profile or to Twitter @marionscher.
Rob Campbell
Never send an e-mail, or any message in anger, let alone vent to an audience of millions.In my opinion, not only has he cast a pile of poo on himself, he's also cast a pall of gloom over the South African Team.Poor, poor sport.
Posted on 4 Sep 2012 17:04
I totally agree never send an e-mail, or any message in anger - the bible says be slow to anger & quick to listen.Oscar made a mistake, he realised this & he apologised(what a gentle-man) - that is good enough - NOW can we please move forward.These's no reason why this should affect the rest of the team(some people can be so dramatic)!!!
Posted on 5 Sep 2012 15:06