I was shocked that the comments of Mia brought such criticism. This is something that can be seen in every culture. I mean, in the US, Americans will bag out there President more than anything but if a foreigner says anything bad they instantly go into patriotic mode irrelevant of the facts. I guess this is why when the Dixie Chicks spoke out against the war a few years ago it almost destroyed them.
However to speak out disagreeing that we should call a sporting star a hero has led to this criticism. I am someone who actually found it difficult growing up because of this exact issue. I played sport as a kid for a long time and whilst I was playing sport I didn't notice anything. However as I grew up my attention moved from sport to music and when this happened I noticed that I just almost didn't matter when there was sport in the conversation.
Australia certainly does place too much attention and reverence on sporting stars but it's not entirely their faults. In Australian culture we really don't recognise the people who are involved in life changing or just worldwide innovation. Many Australian's wouldn't know that there are a lot of innovative and amazing things that have come out of this country. Some more life changing than others. Australians are responsible for things such as the invention of the electric drill, photocopying, refrigeration, the pacemaker, penicillin, the bionic ear, humidicrib & WiFi to name just a few. However I bet you don't know who was responsible for 90% of these things.
Our lack of recognition for these people is really a cultural thing. I agree with the article that sport does grab the interest of a wider demographic of poeple but it really shouldn't. Half the issue is that we don't celebrate the achievements of people outside of sport. Maybe this is something we as a people need to look at. There are so many that don't receive the recognition that they deserve and it is really sad because it is important and I for one see many of those amazing people who are not sporting stars as far more worthy.