Kate Lundy honours London Olympics bet with a row
Calm waters are not a common occurrence for a federal politician, but that’s what greeted Kate Lundy in Britain. The Australian Sports Minister took to the Olympic rowing lake in a single scull on Sunday for her very own pollie paddle.
CALM waters are not a common occurrence for a federal politician, but that’s what greeted Kate Lundy in Britain.
The Australian Sports Minister took to the Olympic rowing lake in a single scull on Sunday for her very own pollie paddle.
“I just hope she doesn’t fall in,” laughed a British journalist sarcastically as Ms Lundy took charge of the oars.
The 44-year-old Canberra senator’s adventure was the result of a lost bet with her British counterpart, Hugh Robertson.
In the lead-up to the London Games the pair had a wager, each backing their own nation to bag more gold medals.
Team Australia’s seven podium-topping performances were far outweighed by Britain’s 29 gold.
The subsequent cost to Ms Lundy? A full length of the Eton Dorney course dressed in Team GB kit.
But on the day the Brits took it easy on the smiley brunette.
Dressed in navy shorts and a red polo shirt with a subtle Union Jack patch, the outfit was hardly cause for humiliation.
And then it emerged that rather than the full Olympic distance of 2km, Ms Lundy would row 1km, the course set up for the Paralympics.
When the Labor frontbencher set off in admirable style, the Brits probably wished they had kept the pressure on.
“There’s some nice form there, a good stroke technique,” blared the commentary from a public address system.
At the halfway mark a few bars of Rule, Britannia! were played, but if it was designed to unsettle the Australian, it failed.
Aided by overcast conditions, still water and no wind, Ms Lundy set a comfortable rhythm, disappointing a swarm of British media who were clearly hoping the Aussie would run out of puff and put up the white flag.
“You’re barely out of breath!” a reporter exclaimed after the event.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been in a single scull, but I row reasonably often, so I was just taking it easy,” the senator replied.
Even Mr Robertson, who was waiting at the finish line with a bottle of champagne, acknowledged his counterpart’s talent.
“She really looks as though she knows what she’s doing … quite impressive,” he commented.
But Ms Lundy, who is the Australian Government representative at London 2012, said she hasn’t got any aspirations for serious competition.
“I’ll leave that to the athletes.” – AAP
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