Apologies are double edged swords.
Do it with truth and good heart and you may be forgiven or at least appreciated. Do it cynically or through a third party and see the wrath of a nation ( in this case) rise quicker than your gold medal winning mountain bike race win.
Yesterday, Simon Gaze won gold for himself and New Zealand. A proud moment for many. But amongst his celebrations, he managed to diss his compatriot and second placed, Anton Cooper and accuse him of bad sportsmanship. I'm not going into that part. What interested me was the statement that was made within hours by Gaze , apologising for his comments.
Now we will never know who engineered the statement and who crafted it but it sure didn't feel like Gaze. Having been involved in high profile sports campaigns for many years, I'm fully aware that trusted media representatives as well as the Chef de Mission are always ready with their damage limitation statements should the need arise ( and it inevitably always does). It is a fine line ( and a master skill) to write an authentic statement on behalf of someone and balance the needs of the national body and all the stakeholders that represents, including a nation of sports lovers who don't like ungracious winners ( or losers for that matter).
This one was not a great example. The statement was so slick and so polished and "appropriate" that it conveyed little sincerity but instead showed a massive lack in authenticity and therefore trust. If Gaze did write it - he should have been given assistance. I'm betting he didn't.
The authors of the statement didn't do Gaze any favours. It is a tough job but it's critical to get it right. Many reputations depend on it.