Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
23 Apr 2022
8:12 am

Professional athletes are people, just like the rest of us

Wesley Botton

While it is important to criticise elite athletes when they under-perform, we need to remember they are only human.

Akani Simbine celebrates his victory in the 100m final at this week's national championships in Cape Town. Picture: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Midway through his post-race interview on Thursday, Akani Simbine started choking up, and as much as he tried to hold them back, the tears started flowing. It's not the first time I've seen an athlete cry in an interview, and it won't be the last, but it is a reminder that they are human beings. Simbine is one of South Africa's most consistent athletes in any sport, and he rarely has a bad run, but when he opened his season with a painfully slow performance earlier this year, the media lashed out and his opponents took the chance for a...