Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Why has it now become traditional for medal winners everywhere to be pictured biting their medal?

Michael Conlan
Michael Conlan
Rinty Monaghan, one-time world flyweight champion

Great results for Team NI at the Commonwealth Games, with a fine array of medals won and displayed in media photographs.

On this last point – why has it now become traditional for medal winners everywhere (in just about every sport) to be pictured biting their medal?

I'm assuming it was initially a sort of tongue in cheek test to pretend to check that the thing was gold or silver or whatever it says on the tin.

But you see it so often these days it just makes the sportspeople look as if nobody's feeding them. Surely they've already done enough in testing their mettle. No need to test their metal.

We can't ignore our genuine heroes

Still with the Commonwealth Games and well done in particular to the boxers – both male and female.

It's a sport which has produced so many brilliant and colourful champions in this part of the world down the years. Heroes like the great Rinty Monaghan, one-time world flyweight champion. Famous for serenading audiences from the ring, Rinty was truly loved by the people of his native Belfast.

A blue plaque marks the place where he lived in Sailortown. But many would argue a statue to the man would be a more fitting memorial.

So far though, no sign. Oddly we don't make a big deal of our real heroes in this city. We should.

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