Aussies say “Canada’s reputation for good manners took a battering”


Why did Canadians boo an Australian athlete last night? Photo: RCubedPhoto

I was fortunate enough to have purchased a couple of tickets to the Feb 15th victory medal ceremonies a couple of months back. Who would have thought that my $22 purchase would have allowed me into BC Place stadium on the night Canada was awarded its first gold medal on home soil. What an experience! The only thing that slightly tainted the evening for me was when some of the attendees booed a video replay of Australia’s Dale Begg-Smith’s silver medal winning performance. Canadians are known around the world as a pretty polite group of folks, but that booing session caught the attention of the Australian press who report "Canada’s reputation for good manners took a battering".

Thankfully, when Begg-Smith actually came out on stage to accept his medal, the boisterous majority drowned out the previous rudeness and provided him with a big cheer. Last night was a wonderful moment in Canadian history that the 20,000 people in attendance won’t soon forget. It’s too bad not everyone in the room realized that, and simply showed up to support the accomplishments of the world’s best athletes.

Begg-Smith may not be a warm and fuzzy kind of guy. He clearly doesn’t fit all the stereotypes of what we expect from our heroic athletes. But did he deserve to be booed? Not a chance. If you want to read what the Aussies are saying, click here. What do you think? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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  • yuri

    the guy is a spoiled little puke and his business interests are shaddy. Still no reason to boo.

  • Dave

    I think its time to shed our “Nice Guys” image because as everybody knows nice guys finish last and the Olympics is all about winning.
    Sorry Dale, but just look back at how you’ve treated the non-Australian media at the games and your previous disdain for Canada and I guess the old adage of “you reap what you sow” is very true.
    Go Canada!!!

  • Toshi

    The Olympics are about celebrating all athletes’ accomplishments — win or lose. In the end, individuals are individuals, and the actions/behaviors of the few should not be held against a group as a whole. I do not judge all Australians for Begg-Smith’s unsportsman-like conduct when Bilodeau attempted to congratulate him at the conclusion of Begg-Smith’s run. And a do not judge all Canadians for the few who felt it necessary to express their dissatisfaction with Begg-Smith. We should all try to remember the “spirit” of the Olympics when determining our thoughts, words, and actions.

  • Does anyone know the history of this guy? He is Not what sport is all about. Do some research on the guy. He is a big baby and some Aussies are not too happy about him representing their country .

  • Emmy

    Begg-Smith is actually a local who lived in the Vancouver area and snowboarded here on the North Shore mountains. The man was told by the Canadian Olympic Committee that he couldn’t run his internet business while remaining an amateur athlete. He didn’t feel he should give up his business, and decided to compete for Australia instead.
    His business hasn’t been the most admirable. According to reports, he has invented a type of spyware for computer, and his nickname is “Spam King.”

  • julia

    did I also not read some very vocal comments by his coach that he deserved to win?
    We have a flag of convenience, poor loser, with a crappy attitude athlete with an ego that is far too big for his accomplishments.
    Yes, booing is not polite but sometimes the truth hurts.

  • AVS

    Probably wrong to boo but this guy (and his coaches) have been terrible losers. He doesn’t come across as a great guy.

  • gcoutts

    The bad blood between Begg-Smith and Canada, doesn’t boil down to Canadians booing an Australian. Last week Canadians were the vocal force that kept the boxing kangaroo flying at the Olympic Village. As for Begg-Smith, he is a product of “our” society and for this failure we can collectively declare our annoyance. His character is clearly flawed, his business ethics are clearly flawed and his regard for sports fans and the general public non-existent. You’re more than welcome to him, God help you if you were expecting a role model.

  • I never heard of this jerk but what i see of him he deserves to be booed. He has had nothing but a sour face on him since the run. he is at the medal ceremonies and making faces. i am so tired of people dissing Canada. So the olympics aren’t perfect, so we haven’t yet learned how to control the weather, and we can’t compare with Bejing on the opening ceremonies( not that we were trying). Get over yourselves and just enjoy.

  • Karl

    I did not hear booing when watching on TV, that being said with his attitude perhaps a small boo is well deserved. As far as the Aussie media goes saying Canada’s rep is tarnished. Who backed you up last week with the ‘roo flag? And, as far as Dale the Spam slime moving to Oz…wasn’t it first a penal colony for Great Britain? Why wouldn’t someone like Dale be welcome?

  • Lambert

    Hi Daniel
    Have you read the background on this guy? He’s a bonafide JERK and it’s this kind of “political correctness” that’s crap. When someone acts like a jerk they have to be treated likewise. WHY NOT? If we just cheer what does that tell him about his bullshit behaviour? Absolutely nothing! Talk about bad sportsmanship, his coach went into an interview and said that Bilodeau didn’t have the technical expertise to pull of those marks. Okay so we as Canadians are suppose to take that comment and smile nicely. Maybe a decade ago but not anymore!

  • Ali

    Guess who Begg-Smith is?
    [img]http://www2.moltenimage.com/photos/revscene/pegg-dis.jpg[/img]

  • Peter

    You can keep him Australia.
    This guy is a class A JERK. He needs a SPAM medal for buffoonery!

  • Monty

    I see, so, it’s okay for the Aussie coach to trash Bilodeau and question his gold medal, but it’s not okay to point out Begg-Smith’s bad attitude?
    The guy is a sore winner. His treatment of the Canadian press and his constant sourpuss face are the reasons for the reaction he’s getting. Meanwhile, the American, Bryon Wilson, who won the Bronze got a much bigger cheer because you could see he was clearly thrilled to have won an Olympic medal. Wilson set a good example of good sportsmanship, Begg-Smith did the opposite.

  • prem

    Just wondering why Premier Gordon Campbell is so obnoxious with the Canadian Flag. He keeps on waving The Canadian Flag on every occasion and each time, the Flag gets bigger! He is also singing with his lips all mouthy. Is he drunk?

  • Dennis O’Bell

    Saying it was exclusively Canadians in the audience booing Dale Begg-Smith is as presumptuous as calling him an Australian athlete.
    He is in name only, with an Australian passport of convenience, but still maintains residence here in Van part of the year. He made his millions as one of the top companies producing internet pop-up ads, malware, and spyware and selling people the software to prevent such.
    He donated the proceeds of his winnings to a Haiti fund, obviously he doesn’t need it, he is his own corporate sponsor.
    Nevertheless, he shouldn’t be booed, he should be sitting in jail for the scourge of his business’ practices.

  • Laureen

    BOOING 3 TIMES LOUDER! Why not? I don’t appreciate anything about him, and I DO appreciate our beautiful well-deserved Gold Medal, and our AMAZING Canadian athletes!
    Besides, Bilodeau not only is a great athlete, but also a very nice young guy, proud of being Canadian!
    I’m sure he will achieve so much more in life!!!!!
    GO CANADA GOOO!!! I LOVE CANADAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JL.

    The people booing were wrong to do so, but it has nothing to do with his Australian nationality. Dale was probably booed because he is actually more Canadian than anything else. And for that, he is a bit embarrassing to Canadians, being one of our own, training and living here, and then now representing Australia. Then he had the nerve to say the judges cheated in awarding Bilodeau the gold medal. It’s really an internal issue, and has nothing to do with Canada and Australia’s international relations.

  • Jenn

    I watched the medal ceremony on TV and I’m not sure if it was the tv audio equipment or the fact that I was booing in my own head that I didn’t hear the alleged booing via TV.
    It was a brief and honest moment and the Aussies will find any excuse to point out another country’s faults when they have to settle for second – being a sore loser seems to run in that nation. They took on Begg-Spam and he’s THEIR problem now.
    I didn’t know who this guy was until CTV profiled him and his douche-baggery attitude towards the Canadian media. What he said to the Aussie media struck a chord with me as to the kind of person he is. In CTV’s report, “Begg-Smith snubs media in homecoming,” it noted: Asked by Australian reporters if he felt uncomfortable about excluding Canadian journalists, he responded: “I’m just doing what I’m told.”
    Well good on ya Mr. B-S. Be the corporate puppet sellout we know you are. I’m RELIEVED that you don’t represent Canada.

  • Michael

    Dale BS is a wannabe aussie, eh mate.

  • Vancouverite

    I think that the Canadian response to Mr. Begg-Smith was right in tune with his mannerism towards Canada.
    His attitude towards Canada, Vancouver, and choice to not speak to Canandian media doesn’t make him “elusive” as some polite Canadian reporters said, it makes him a duchebag.
    Go Canada Go!

  • Mark

    They don’t like him here (where he was born and grew up) and they don’t like him in Oz either. The guy is odd to say the least.
    The headline in the Australian newspaper Age didn’t celebrate his win in Turin with a conventional headline but offered this snappy rejoinder:
    “Spam Man Wins Gold.”
    In reference to his internet business activities.

  • DJW – Proud Canadian

    Hello all! What’s happened to seeing the big picture? Every last detail, no matter how small is being magnified. Is this really what being the host city is all about? Even in smaller sporting or entertainment events things don’t always go as you had hoped but the organizers work to improve what they couldn’t anticipate in advance. How about our visitors reporting on the 10 wonderful things experienced versus the one thing that went wrong? All they are looking and sounding like are big fat whiners. We want to welcome everyone to share this beautiful part of the world. We want to ignore the poor sports and give our attention to those that deserve it. There has been many many years of preparation to make this the best experience possible for our citizens and our guests and I for one would appreciate some kind words being sent our way. Besides the tragic loss of Georgin athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili I continue to be proud of what we have accomplished in the Greater Vancouver area. If you are booing anyone, stop it! Even nasty rude people have worked hard to get here. Just choose not to support them in any other way after the Olymics.

  • TDP

    If Begg-Smith had’t behaved like a spoiled brat after losing, maybe people wouldn’t have booed. You reap what you sow buddy!!!! And if the Australian press don’t like – tough S.

  • Edward

    The ‘Australian’ is reaping what he has been sowing, nothing more.
    As for the nice-guy image….. who cares? I’d rather have the repution for keeping it a bit real and honest.
    Hopefully the Aussie press will only serve to open the can of worms, and expose dick-head for who he is.

  • Bob

    Dicks get what they deserve as do traitors – poor baby , his feelings were hurt. If he really was an Aussie we wouldn’t have boo’d .. would we?

  • jay ray

    What makes you think it was the Canadian’s booing? All venues are filled with people from around the world. Honestly, were you really there?

  • Gordon Fraser

    Having seen this ceremony on TV, I saw Mr. Dale Begg Smith frown at the ceremony which was likely the cause of booing by the crowd.
    Granted it was not called for. However it would appear that he induced the crowd to their reaction.
    He has done well in Australia doing what was not wanted here in Canada.
    It would also appear from the aforementioned remarks not all agree with his business practices. Again this has nothing to do with his skill as an athelete.
    I am glad he won a medal and wish him well as a Canadian. Personally I am delighted to see so many countries doing well.
    Best wishes to every athlete and may the best person win at each event.
    May each of these athletes go home as happy individuals and proud for what they have accomplished and with a host of new friends to enjoy forever.
    I hope that all our guests have a wonderful time while here in Vancouver.
    Thank you to City Caucus . Com for the wonderful knowledge for all of us to enjoy the free venues as well!

  • bob

    There can be no justification for boos at any time in the Olympics. Anyone who resorts to boos is just not a good sport or of good character. We apologize to the Aussies.

  • Katrina

    If it had been any other Aussie athelite that had won I doubt there would have been booing. I’m sure most people feel that his attitude is unsportsmanly and he is representing the wrong country since he was born and raised here. But then again, with an attitude as bad as his, Canada is better off without him.

  • JR

    I’m an Aussie. The booing was a little overboard, however he got what he asked for. He should of had silver revoked for his rudeness. The Olympics are an honour, not a right.
    Well done to Bilodeau on the gold medal. He deserves it with his exceptional performance.