As one who has endured thousands of utterly anodyne post-event press conferences, the reactions of the various participants to the extraordinary events of yesterday’s Boat Race were genuinely remarkable. Particularly the six tweets posted by Oxford rower William Zeng, which read as follows:
When I missed your head with my blade I knew only that you were a swimmer, and if you say you are a protestor then/no matter what you say your cause may be, your action speaks too loudly for me to hear you. I know, with immediate emotion, exactly what you/were protesting. You were protesting the right of seventeen young men and one woman to compete fairly and honourably/to demonstrate their hard work and desire in a proud tradition./You were protesting their right to devote years of their lives, their friendships and their souls to the fair pursuit of the joys/and the hardships of sport. You, who would make a mockery of their dedication and their courage, are a mockery of a man.
I have some sympathy for Trenton Oldfield’s beliefs. But knowing a little about the work those 18 young people had put in for so long, couldn’t he have found another way?
William Zeng’s Twitter account is @zengscape.