Pat Hickey, Irish Olympic boss, arrested in Rio

Pat Hickey, our homegrown Olympic Ozymandias

Isn’t schadenfreude an awful thing?

Of course it is, so why did I find it that hard to wipe the evil little grin off my face as I thought about Pat Hickey’s reality TV arrest? After all, the man is innocent. He hasn’t been tried or convicted of anything. He hasn’t even had formal charges laid against him in the way we’d understand here, but still I found myself chuckling even though I know that’s not a good thing. I’m a bad man for doing it. A bad, bad man. It’s true!

Perhaps it has something to do with Pat Hickey’s combative history, issuing writs against anyone brave enough to write about him, taking delight in humiliating one sports minister after another, crowing in public at every defeat inflicted on an opponent.

Pat Hickey Vladimir PutinIt’s probably no coincidence that Hickey’s personal sporting origins lie in judo. A man so driven to defeat his opponents rather than persuading them would do well in the martial arts and Pat Hickey was all about winning, no matter who he came up against. Apart from the Brazilian police, that is, who didn’t give a rat’s arse who Pat Hickey was as long as they got headlines for being tough on touting.

Was Hickey involved in the ticket scandal? Nobody knows and nobody will know until the Rio police bring forward whatever evidence they think they have, so for now we must all assume that Pat Hickey is blameless, but that doesn’t stop us having a quiet chuckle at the plight of a man who is, to be blunt about it, not especially likeable.

That isn’t his fault. I’m not especially likeable myself, but I wasn’t flapping my wings about putting an Irish government minister back in his box just hours before being arrested in the most embarrassing circumstances.

Hubris is an even worse thing than schadenfreude because it leads people to believe they’re bulletproof and Hickey can’t have been immune to its seductive powers. After all, he came a long way from flogging second-rate houses in Phibsborough to rubbing shoulders with Vladimir Putin. It was all very well nodding at Bertie Ahern in the chipper, but what was that compared to the oil-rich dictator of Azerbaijan begging him for favours?

When you’re the top dog in European Olympic circles, a mover and a shaker in world Olympics, it must be very easy to forget about the little people, even if you came from the little people yourself.

When you can command a first-class air ticket to Brazil, and a suite of rooms for yourself and your family in a top-class Rio hotel, along with €900 a day walking-around money in case you’re stuck, it must be easy enough to imagine that you’re above sanction and beyond reach.

Thus, when Romario was beating the anti-corruption drum in Brazil four years ago, our homegrown Olympic Ozymandias must have wondered who this upstart was.

Well, he knows now.

Did the cops read Hickey the Rio Act?




10 thoughts on “Pat Hickey, Irish Olympic boss, arrested in Rio

  1. Ah now Bock! In my personal experience, you are a most likeable fellow. Not that I have any personal experience of Pat Hickey’s likeableness but you’re ‘sound out Kid’.

  2. Hickey may have bitten off more than he can chew, I don’t like the grin
    on old Putin’s face, he has been known to grin before he makes a pounce.

  3. Poetic justice par excellence. Just sometimes – the right thing happens for the right reasons. I certainly hope that the outcome of this case results in a full bright searchlight being shone on the activities of the executives of all government funded agencies.

    P.S. Apologies for my lack of realism in advance…

  4. if it quacks , waddles and swims like a duck …well it truly is a bleedin ,

    top table sitting ,
    hand permanently out,
    vain glorious ,
    power corrupted,

    duck .

    remember Sonia was forced to change her running strip ,
    and was forced to strip naked in front of others in the tunnel just minutes before her 5000 M in Atlanta – he was all over that

    frequently this moron would point blank refuse to take a journo question – just because

    wonder had Bernard any experience of this cupid stunt

  5. Like you,Bock,I have no way of knowing if Hickey is guilty as charged or innocent until due process has been completed.However,I do know for a fact that Hickey and his fellow travellers and predecessors have been more concerned with their own pleasures and perks than helping Irish athletes.I know this from personal experience as I have a relative who is an Olympic athlete.

  6. Met the man a few times, Mr Sniffle. He was always very helpful and very professional. He’s fallen from a great height.

    It has to be the worse Olympics in the history of Irish sport.

    One of the Irish (ref and judge) has been apparently send home after the recent carry on in the boxing ring. International Boxing Association won’t say who the six send home are. The Algerian ref in the Conlan fight is one of them, that’s confirmed. The bitch.

    What an Olympiad!

    One boxer has the distinction of being the first Irish athlete send home from an Olympic village in 92 years of Irish participation in Olympic sport before competition began, the other, the ref and judge, is sent home before it ended and Pat Hickey might be coming home around 2023.

    After the third and final classic fight between Ali and Frazier, the 1960 and 1964 light-heavy and heavyweight Olympic champions, Hugh McIlvanney wrote that it was “a kind requiem for the heavyweight division.”

    Unless the International Boxing Association purges the nefarious bastards, mostly Russia and Central Asia, that have crept back to ringside, Rio 2016 could become a requiem for a sport which made its Olympic debut in 1904.

  7. Ok lads pitchforks at the ready, you can lead the way bock.
    By writing about him Bock you are lowering yourself to the level of the redtop newspapers.
    He may be an unlikable man but he is innocent until proven guilty.

  8. Oh Bobby, do give over! Nobody is howling for Pat’s blood! It’s just some speculation over his time in the OCI. He might be innocent and should get a fair hearing. But the man’s reputation proceeds him and it’s not all “tireless work for the athletes!” We all read about the public man. We’re ALL guilty of it!
    Most of what Bock wrote could be found on the RTÉ website or through a torturous listen to the Marian Finucane show on Saturday morning. Hardly Rupert Murdoch level now is it!

  9. Lads? Will everyone wake up and smell the roses. Pat Hickey has been president of the Olympic Committee since 1988!!! The man has stitched up the whole electoral system so he wins out every time. Maypole dancing has the same number of votes as football or boxing. Only Mugabe has managed to outlast him… and by a year.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.