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Monday 25 July 2011

Mia Freedman, Today Show, Cadel Evans, and 'Hero' = Mayhem

Did you see the interview with Mia Freedman on the Today Show this morning?

I did. And I nodded in agreement the whole time - while pausing for a few seconds to Tweet my sentiments about it all.

The gist of the segment - which you can view in full below - is that while Mia understands Cadel Evans's accomplishment (winning the Tour De France - the first time ever by an Australian) she doesn't understand the need to call him a 'hero'.

I agree. And this from someone who lives in a house where there is a shrine - no, a whole room - dedicated to Liverpool Football Club. My husband is a huge fan of the English Premier League club, and when I rang him to get his opinion on this debate, he said:

"I think that yes, Cadel should be called a hero. He acheived something in a comp that is highly regarded, something never acheived before by an Australian. It's a test of endurance. Sure, yes - he is a hero."

Was he angry about my opinion differing from him? Nope. Because he recognises it's just that - an opinion.

Am I pleased an Aussie finally won this coveted race? Yes! Does it fire me up and inspire me? Not even a smidge.

I asked myself, what if it were the Australian soccer/football side winning a World Cup match. Yes, that would excite me - I may even stay up for it! But would I call the team 'heroes'? Hell no.

The feedback on Mama Mia has been a mixed bag, but much of it has been nasty. Mia indicates she can't recall ever being so abused about a topic.

She says: "I think pursuing a life doing something you’re good at for the benefit of yourself is not heroic. It’s not a BAD thing, I’m not dissing Cadel (of course not!) but the idea that a sports person should be idolised because they can ride far or jump high or swim fast is, to me, a bit odd. I guess I’m just flagging the fact that if you do well in sport, the country and the media stop to worship you in a way that doesn’t happen to anyone else for doing anything else.

As Mia said this morning on the Today Show: "I just don't care... He's a man - who is paid a lot of money... To ride a bike."

"To call him a hero...?"

"Did he save anyone's life? People who are sports people do it for their own reasons."

Maybe that's why I am not stirred by this either.

You can read Mia's reaction to it all here: http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/cadel-evans-is-he-a-hero/

And watch the Today show clip from this morning here:


  1. Most people who have criticized Cadel Evans have no idea about the tour de france or what it takes to win it. Everytime someone achieves greatness in sport there's always the wet blankets that like to bring it down!! What are your motives?? Is it that you don't believe in sporting hero's? No, its because you don't understand it. You're jealous that you are not part of it. I agree that there are many people who's heroics go unnoticed and thats not right but Cadels Evans victory in France overshadows nearly every other single sporting achievement that an Australian has done. Its not just the victory but the battles he's endured along the way that come with it. He's a warrior that epitomizes the Australian spirit and what we perceive as the Australian spirit and to douse that with water is frankly unaustralian....

  2. Thanks for your comments, Anonymous.

    Your comment, "You're jealous that you are not part of it" is not true at all. Why would I be jealous?

    I agree it's a fantastic acheivement - I just don't think he is a 'hero', that's all.

    Mind you, I could NEVER acheive what he has done - I am not even remotely sporty. I admire what he has done.

    But does it fire me up? Inspire me, personally? No, it does not.

    That's the beaut thing about opinions though - we can all have one.

  3. Congratulations blogger. You've really brought up quite the condundrum amongst those who accidentely stumble upon your 'work'. Are you the most boring person in Australia, or the biggest idiot?
    Hhmmm much to ponder.

  4. Why, thank you. No need to be nasty...

  5. It is not surprising that some and I say some, sporting fanatics just don't get that no one is saying (including this blogger) that Cadel Evans doesn't deserve his win. He does. Is he a hero? For mine, no. Is he a champion? Yes, he is. Australians should be proud of him and his achievements.

    Congratulations to Cadel Evans. He deserves his win after many years of training, blood, sweat and tears.

    And since Anonymous didn't say who he/she was, neither am I!

    Jose, don't let this person get you down. You are entitled to your opinion and I know, you are not boring, in fact, quite the opposite :)

  6. This is huge for Australia! for Mia Freedman, a bloody ex teen girl mag editor to say what she did! Well it makes me un happy to be Australian! We should be embracing this, just because cycling isn't huge in this country compared to all other feats with done as a nation....what Cadel has done deserves upmost respect and not to here on public T.V i just don't care! Mia Freedman you are UN AUSTRALIAN! Go back to writing about teen issues! And don't comment about this!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I thought a hero was someone who saved lives. In this day of and age obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases Cadel may inspire people to excercise, a concept foreign to people like you and Mia obviously. You probably complain about the bloody cyclists in your way as you get about in your tin box on a 2 block trip to get a loaf of bread. If his inspiration stops one person dying from diabetes then he is a hero in my books.

  8. I hate terms like un-Australian, I also hate words like hero applied to anyone. In my view by labeling someone a hero it actually diminishes their achievement. The achievement is greater when it is accomplished by a mere mortal.
    BUT (that's right, the sort of but that has the caps on), there is a time to make comments like Mia's, and yours when you won't look lie a soggy doona. It's in about a fortnight, then have at it. If you jump on now you are either - a) insensitive and self centred or b) insensitive and attempting to get publicity.
    Personally I agree with almost everything Greer said about Steve Irwin, but she should have waited before commenting. People's feelings are real.
    Good luck, I'm sorry for the abuse you are getting from us cycling fans.

  9. I want Mia to make a public apology. Why don't you spit on every sports person who's gone out and tried to make it in the world. Where do we start, yeah Cadel just rides a bike like big deal, pfff only rode 3500km, he doesnt even live in Australia, neither does Mark Webber he lives in England and just drives a fast car, so he's not an aussie and you know what hes a loser as well. either is Greg Norman he lives in America, and hits a ball with a stick, lets not forget Paul Hogan he's a yank as well and just made a stupid movie. So the moral of the story is if you don't live in Australia, are successful in what you do you arn't Australian. No Mia, media garbage like you are not Australian. You have just publicised what scum really looks like. You are nothing yourself and try to put down a fellow Australian of mine that has achieved probably the greatest Australian sporting achievement in the name of getting some press thrown your way is disgusting. Your only comment is i got the right to voice my opinion, yeah you do, your's was made to get 5 minutes of press. CLAP CLAP CLAP. Congratulations you can tell all your friends that you were on TV spitting on an Australians achievement. Next your going to say Don Bradman was a loser, hey you'll probably get on the newspaper with that! Moron

  10. I think the biggest issue here is the use of the word 'hero'. At the end of the day we all have our own heroes and we are all entitled to our opinion. Just because Cadel Evans is a sporting hero that does not detract from the many other heros that walk our streets and achieve wonderful things.

    Ultimately, I think it was Mia's flippant response on the Today Show that has stirred up this arguement. To dismiss his achievemets as 'just riding a bike' shows a lack of understanding and a lack appreciation for an outstanding achievement (no matter what field that achievement is recognised in).

    To do what Cadel Evens has done is truly remarkable and it will no doubt inspire some. It is an achievement that no one else in the Southern Hemisphere has ever been able to achieve in over 100 years. Cadel is only the third non-European to win the tour and when you add all of the years of training, dedication, set-backs and heartbreak, Evens has shown qualities that I think most people would aspire to - dedication, perserverance and humility.

    Let's acknowledge this and the many other wonderful things Austrlaians are doing here and around the world and leave the 'hero' topic for another day.

  11. O.K. So I see myself as open minded. Dropped in on Mia's blog and had a bit of a look around.

    Let's talk aobut something uplifting. Nice start with a woman who has gone through a personal battle.

    What is the second most "uplifting" article. WHY SOME AUSTRALIANS WILL PAY SIX TIMES MORE FOR A FRIDGE.

    I mean, really, you want me to take her opnion seriously????

  12. What strikes me the most in this debate is that the people throwing the biggest punches don't seem near brave enough to even state their name. Surely the point of having an opinion is in having the conviction to be proud of it and stand by it? That, to me, is where being a proud Aussie is, no?
    Do I think Cadel is an amazing sportsman that has made us as Aussies proud? Absolutely. Do I think he deserves congratulations? Definitely. Do I think he's a hero? Sorry, no. I think there has been a lot of confusion today about what is an inspiration and what is a hero. Cadel is an inspiration, no doubt, thanks to his overcoming the obstacles he did to achieve what he has. But a hero? In my opinion, no.
    And to the posters on this blog whose defense was to make personal and nasty slates against Josie the blogger, well, I think it's up to you guys to take a look at yourselves and define what it really means to be unAustralian. Shame on you.

  13. My name is Jim, there.

    Hero or not? That's splitting hairs. It was undeniably a great achievement.

    Mia caused outrage because she wasn't researched at best, plain disrespectful at worst. Did we watch the same TV segment?

  14. Peter (Central Coast)

    To make this about sport as opposed to "saving peoples' lives" is missing the point. It is about acknowledging human endeavour. Here is a person who has developed his ability over a long period of time with the result of a major achievement. If you have any knowledge of the tour, this involved considerable physical and emotional hardship - as well as many other things. We can take from this that Australians who apply themselves, work hard, make sacrifices can achieve amazing things - music, science, medicine - it doesn't matter.
    That is why, in many peoples' eyes, Cadel is an absolute hero. Someone we can look up to and respect.

  15. I think her attitude and demeanour the worst part. She's acting like an arrogant teenager with all the ignorance of a 5 year old on the topic. I think when she admits to not know anything about him and not understanding, that is the point. She can't act rational because the stance she has made is ill informed. I understand that people get inspired by different things, and that's fine if it doesn't inspire her, but adapt a better attitude. I just wanted to slap her. How arrogant and stupid she sounded. The reason Cadel doesn't live here is because his job is in Europe, I'd like to see her make the flight from Australia to Europe every day for work, what an idiot. That's like asking why a Doctor involved in Medecines Sans Frontiers doesn's just do it from Australia.

    Seriously, maybe if she dropped the arrogance and took some time to educate herself on the topic (which anyone should do about any topic before expressing such a strong opinion), perhaps then the backlash wouldn't be so strong.

    I don't have a problem with her point of view, everyone is entitled to them but all I saw was an arrogant person, acting like a child.

  16. Wow this is the first time I've seen Mia Freedman speak in public and I instantly dislike her her demeanour. She's very up herself and full of antagonistic attitude. What has she as a person who writes for a living and obviously made a bundle from it, contributed to society? If she wants to speak in public she should at least be careful of how she handles her public persona and not make a fool of herself. Read a couple of her contributions in the west weekend magazine and never enjoyed her writing. Mia you should learn to control your thoughts and stop acting like a prima dona.

  17. Why did Freedman speak about Cadel Evans in the first place if she has got nothing nice to say about him? I gather it's to gain more media profile for herself? My impression on her interview is that she's not only very rude, she is an embarrassment to watch on live tv. She certainly has shot herself big time!

  18. Here is an interesting quote of Mia's regarding Emma Watson in May 2010. Interesting to say the least.

    “I am genuinely in awe of her achievement. Back when she set out on her voyage, crashed on the first night and then set out again, I was a doubter. I still am a little bit. Now that she has returned a hero (as she should, her achievement is astonishing) it’s easy to say it was a wonderful thing for her to have done.” – When I was 16, I got my ears pierced, suck on that Jessica Watson (May 17, 2010).

  19. i dissargree with all of you

  20. It seems the culture of worshipping sports people is becoming increasingly questionable and rightly so. Narcissism is a common theme amongst sports people, which when combined with undeserved power has created many monsters in history. As a competitive cyclist myself I say good on you Cadel Evans, you are quite humble and are a better role model than many self thought god gift to women footballers, attention seeking wanting to be icon swimmers, or bowlers who spin it, but my type of hero is less selfish, the like of surgeon Dr David Pennington and staff and resources who rebuilt the disfigured burnt face of Safari in many pro bono operations.