Colin laughs off Olympic criticism

The Olympic Games may have ended in disappointment for Ballianmore’s Colin Griffin when he was disqualified in the 50km walk while on course to secure a personal best but for one person Colin’s disappointment was seen as an opportunity not to offer commiserations but to question why he was “selected” to represent Ireland.

The Olympic Games may have ended in disappointment for Ballianmore’s Colin Griffin when he was disqualified in the 50km walk while on course to secure a personal best but for one person Colin’s disappointment was seen as an opportunity not to offer commiserations but to question why he was “selected” to represent Ireland.

Last Friday Colin posted a picture on Twitter of a letter that was posted to him criticising his performance in the Olympics, saying he had, “let the team down.” The full text of the letter read as follows: “Dear Mr Griffin,

“The Olympic Council chose you to compete at the Olympics. Being disqualified in Beijing and now in London, you let the team down. R. Heffernan and B. Boyce walked to form but you failed to do so.

“Yours faithfully, Charlie.”

Speaking to the Leitrim Observer this week Colin said he posted the picture on Twitter “for a laugh” and although he hasn’t taken the criticism to heart he feels the letter was written by someone with “a chip on their shoulder.”

Colin explained the letter criticised the decision to select him to represent Ireland but he pointed out, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, I wasn’t selected, I qualified.”

After he posted the picture on Twitter and Facebook Colin received numerous messages of support with one of the first tweets coming from the Irish Chef de Mission, Sonia O’Sullivan who said, “laugh it off there’s always a grumpy old man out there....I’ve seen a few of these over the years but so many more I treasure!”

When asked what he has done with the letter Colin laughed that he had burned it and acknowledged that the positive feedback he has received from members of the Irish Olympic team and members of the public has been helpful as, “People do see the value in what you do and the work that you put in.”

Talking about how he has adjusted to life after the Olympics, Colin, who has still to decide whether or not to continue as a full-time athlete, acknowledged, “There has been a bit of adjustment, there has been a lot of tweeting back and forth between members of the team. Apart from one performance it was a great experience and now it is a case of deciding where I want to go and plan for the future.”