Monday, 5 November 2012

Fallen Heroes

[Update (July 24 2016): A report recently published by the McLaren investigation offers damning evidence of State sponsored doping among Russian athletes. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ruled today that the entire Russian team should not be banned from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro; any decision should be taken by individual Sports Federations. World opinion is divided as to whether or not this was a good decision. Is the IOC simply passing the buck? Whatever, one cannot help but have huge sympathy for the many ‘clean’ members of the Russian team who will have trained hard over the past four years; they may well win events, but given the extensive publicity given to the report worldwide, there will be those who will wonder if that success is only down due to four years of hard training or…. No one doubts that Russia is not the only nation whose sports authorities - even at Government level - are inclined to encourage or turn a blind eye to certain athletes doping to win events on the world stage. It is SO unfair on those who would never take performance enhancing drugs. Sadly, though, that is the kind of world we live in; it is always the innocent who suffer, one way or another, while the guilty all too often appear to get away with ...whatever.]RT

Now, every generation has its share of fallen heroes; they come in all shapes and both sexes. It is invariably a very human tragedy for everyone, not least those directly concerned.

Only recently, a definitive report has upheld allegations that seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs.

Here in the UK, admirers of the late Sir Jimmy Savile, a popular DJ with millions and much admired for his charity work, are having to deal with the appalling fact that his jovial mask appears to have concealed a serial paedophile; it is all the more horrific that allegations by his victims span several decades. The BBC and other organisations closely associated with Savile clearly have many questions to answer.

This poem is a villanelle.


Among those we place on pedestals
(custom made saints and heroes)
too few prove worthy role models

Children, especially, create portals
where the willing acolyte goes
among those we place on pedestals

Among adults, too, where little rivals
a need to rise above their fellows,
too few prove worthy role models

No fine aspiration immune to perils
(the heart vulnerable to blows)
among those we place on pedestals

Though we mortals create new idols
(where a media halo glows)
too few prove worthy role models

Sad to say, but true, when a hero falls
hindsight quickly follows
among those we place on pedestals.
too few prove worthy role models

Copyright R. N. Taber 2012

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