For shame, Marten Cullen, for shame. In the wake of the 2008 Olympics Ireland's sports minister is tired of the country focusing on sports that they clearly can't win. Instead he wants to bring business to bear on sports via the competitive advantage of nations theory. What kind of sports should Ireland give up? Well, sprinting for one. Why? Because, of course, that's for black people.
"Obviously, unless you're black and African you're not going to do well in sprint or middle distance," he says. "We'll get the odd one coming through, like a Sonia or an Eamonn Coghlan, but we'll deal with them as they come. But the likes of the javelin, the discus, the pole vaulting, these are the ones being won by white Europeans. Physically and mentally we're suited to them, and it's easy to see how we could do well here."
What other sports should Ireland be focusing on? Why, good Irish ones like swimming. Also, cycling. "Cycling is one we have a tradition of, and it's a realistic target for us. Look at the countries who are winning in the cycling. They are white European countries. It is nothing we couldn't do. But, again, you need to be ruthless." Ruthless, indeed. Suddenly, a voice of reason in our theater of Olympic dreams [Independent]