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The Unloved "Aussie"


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Pity we still don't have a Torino post-mortem thread...

It seems there are still some limits to Australia's usually feverish embrace of its Olympian gold medallists.

SYDNEY, May 19 AAP - Not many Australian Olympic gold medallists have to put up with being called scum.

They are normally called heroes and feted as great Australians.

Not Dale Begg-Smith.

The dubious internet business which made the moguls skiing champion a multi-millionaire by the time he was 20 has overshadowed Begg-Smith's achievement in becoming one of only three Australian winter Olympic gold medallists.

Among the descriptions of Begg-Smith on the numerous websites and weblogs which argue the ethics of his spyware and pop-up ads business are ``scum of the earth'', ``immoral scumbag'', ``scam artist'' and ``#######''.

The Canadian-born 21-year-old was reluctant to talk about his business during his Olympic exposure and tired of the enquiries and negative reaction from the media and public.

``It's not disappointing, it's just a little boring,'' he said at a Sydney reception for Australia's winter Olympic team last night.

``I don't see why they're interested in other aspects of my life. I find it too bad they have to make up stories to make them sound exciting. Most of the stuff that's been written is made up.

``Sometimes you don't want to speak about money you have for a lot of different reasons, it's something I don't want to talk about.''

He said he had wound down the business in preparation for the Torino Games in February and after winning the gold had no plans to go back to work until at least after the 2010 Games in his home town Vancouver.

``I'm not doing anything in the business. There's really no point now that I won the Olympics and there's other opportunities available,'' he said

``So I'll concentrate on skiing for now and then in the future I want to go back into business, but I don't know what I'll do then.

``I'm not planning on taking any years off, I plan to go through the whole four years skiing, because this is what I'm doing well now.

``So I might as well keep doing it, have fun and get some results.''

Begg-Smith, who migrated to Australia with his brother Jason when he was 15, says skiing gives him far more satisfaction than succeeding in a business which reportedly earned him a fortune of $40 million, a figure at which he scoffs.

``I'd say that anything I get into I work hard at, I think anybody who works hard at things can make a success of what they do,'' he said.

``I find the skiing success much more fulfilling than any other thing in my life.

``Skiing is what I've always loved and what I wanted to do.''

After Friday's reception in which he and aerials bronze medallist Alisa Camplin were presented with International Olympic Committee medallist pins, he was immediately heading back to a training camp in the US.

He said he would return for the Australian winter before travelling and training throughout Europe and America in preparation for the defence of his World Cup title next season.

AAP

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Well duh, that's what happens when you're the head of a company that fills up peoples' inboxes with unwanteds. I would hate to think what would happen if Begg Smith is chosen to carry the Australian flag into BC Place at Vancouver's Opening Ceremony. Can was say lots and lots of boos? Then again, I'll be finding out myself since I'll be there.
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I would hate to think what would happen if Begg Smith is chosen to carry the Australian flag into BC Place at Vancouver's Opening Ceremony. Can was say lots and lots of boos? Then again, I'll be finding out myself since I'll be there.

Yeah, that'd be a provocative move to try _ especially with a home-town crowd. I doubt we'd dare do it.

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Isn't it a bit early to determine who is going to be carrying the Australian flag at Vancouver 2010 now? For all I know, it could be someone else that I never heard of before, but he or she has done well in his/her winter sport in the years leading up to the XXI Winter Olympics. Besides, I doubt Begg-Smith would even want the honor, if he still is around competing.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Maybe he'll defect again and compete for Canada this time around..haha, I wonder if that's even possible after winning an Olympic medal representing a different country in the past.

Yes, it is possible. I think the rule is, if it's less than 2 years since you changed citizenship, and you are eligible to compete for your new flag, I believe they must get your previous country to sign off that they will not object. I think that's how the IOC handles matters like this for the OGs.

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Yes, it is possible. I think the rule is, if it's less than 2 years since you changed citizenship, and you are eligible to compete for your new flag, I believe they must get your previous country to sign off that they will not object. I think that's how the IOC handles matters like this for the OGs.

Well its a 4 year period in between games. I guess he would be ineligible according to those rules. If Australia chooses him as flag bearer, he'll seriously get burned by the crowd.

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Well its a 4 year period in between games. I guess he would be ineligible according to those rules. If Australia chooses him as flag bearer, he'll seriously get burned by the crowd.

He'll be heckled enough by the Vancouverites if he marches in the OC at all, much less carry the flag. He probably won't march at all anyway. For Torino I think he flew in just before the start of his comp, left soon after, and only went back for the CC at the request of the AOC.

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We're internet chatroom geeks (I'm sorry, but anyone who has enough interest to post on a message board about Olympic Bidding has at least a tiny amount of geek in them.) so we're just the type of person who'd get annoyed by popups and spam, but I don't think enough people will know or care enough for him to get a reaction should he even be in Vancouver.

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We're internet chatroom geeks (I'm sorry, but anyone who has enough interest to post on a message board about Olympic Bidding has at least a tiny amount of geek in them.) so we're just the type of person who'd get annoyed by popups and spam, but I don't think enough people will know or care enough for him to get a reaction should he even be in Vancouver.

I'm sure leading up the Olympics, the media coverage here will refresh Canadians memories about how he turned his back on the country to represent Australia. Most people might not know now or have forgoten, but by 2010, they will be remembered again.

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