Back in 2019 Tiger Woods was awarded the Ben Hogan Award, which is given by the Golf Writers Association of America in recognition of a player who has overcome serious injury.
Ben Hogan, the award's namesake, was seriously injured in a car accident in 1949. He sustained a double fracture of the pelvis, a broken collarbone, a broken ankle and a crushed rib.
The combined injuries led to severe issues with blood clotting in his legs in the aftermath. Doctors were doubtful as to whether he'd ever walk again, let alone play golf. Sixteen months later, still suffering debilitating pain and with his legs still bandaged, Hogan won the 1950 US Open at Merion.
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It was, to quote Bill Murray in Caddyshack, "a Cinderella story", and it is an inescapable truth that if players were required to equal Hogan's achievement in order to qualify for the Hogan award then there would have been precious few, if any at all, of the buggers ever given out.
And so when Tiger earned his, having returned to form following back surgery, nobody really questioned whether he was deserving or not, apart from the typical grumblings accompanying all the speculation as to whether Woods was as great a golfer as Hogan etc.
But, look out! It appears Woodsy's having a proper crack at the trophy this time - even adding in the authenticity of a car wreck!
He's got his work cut out for him too, given the descriptions of his 'open' leg wounds and the amount of pins and screws and other stuff from Bunnings the surgeons have reportedly had to put in there in order to stabilise things.
But anything's possible: The man is obviously enormously gifted and a tremendous competitor; however, truly equalling Hogan will still remain outside the realm of possibility for him I'm afraid.
Hogan's accident involved a foggy night, a bus crossing onto the wrong side of the road into his path and Hogan, having taken what evasive action he could (they were on a bridge at the time), diving across in front of his wife to take the impact for her. I'm not sure Tiger Woods snoozing off behind the wheel of a flash car will ever compete with that level of character and romanticism ...
The news this week is that the announcement of the host for the 2032 Olympics is, at this stage, a mere future formality and that the games have been awarded to... (drum roll please)... Brisbane!!
'Really?' I thought. Brisbane? I mean, nothing against Brisbane - lovely place - but the Olympics?
And then when you consider all the fabulous cities in the world: the cosmopolitan, the beautiful, the exotic; all of them presumably lusting after the honour of hosting this most prestigious of global sporting events - and the one to rise from amongst them all, the one to succeed in convincing the IOC of its perfection and thus being awarded that most precious of sporting fruits? Brisbane...
Look, I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but wonder whether perhaps nobody else really wanted it. And a bit of research tends to support this slightly bleak view: What turned out to be the other final round contenders are a little on the underwhelming side.
The reason for what would appear to be a general international reduction in hosting interest reportedly boils down to the financial calculation as to whether the undertaking is worth it or not. This calculation is not a simple one however: Well, one side of it is; it's going to cost a lot - and no matter how much you estimate, it is almost certainly going to blow out into a great deal more than that.
Calculating the benefits, on the other hand, is a much murkier affair: You have the immediate revenue from the tourism and associated stimulus associated with the actual event itself, but much of the rest is tied up in projections of incomes that count on future utilisation of the infrastructures created for the event . And then there's the more wishy-washy benefits described by the IOC (when they're on the hard-sell) in phrases like 'announcing your presence' and 'demonstrating that you're open for business.'
Even applying is far from cheap. The IOC cheekily charges $150,000 just to look at your application and then a further $500,000 to be 'considered.' And then there's the expenses required for the actual bid itself - plans, consultants feasibility studies ...
Both Chicago and Tokyo had failed bids for 2016. Chicago's bid cost $100 million; Tokyo's came to $150 million. And if you win? The Sydney Olympics were staged at a cost of around $6.5 billion. Projections for the delayed Tokyo extravaganza are heading upwards of $25 billion.
In the face of this the Queensland government would seem to be attempting to alleviate voter doubts on the pragmatism of the thing by promising a 'thrifty Olympics,' with no 'flashy new venues.' The plan is, apparently, to utilise existing structures and, where necessary, erect temporary facilities.
'Pop-up' Olympics? Who knows? It may catch on . . .