Sometimes it's disappointing to be Australian. Like right now. I'm ashamed to be part of a sporting nation that thinks football, cricket and tennis are the only sports worth mentioning (let me qualify that – mostly men's football and men's cricket.) A few other sports have a toe-hold, of course... horse-racing (especially the big money races like the Melbourne Cup) gets a look in, big bucks golf tournaments get a mention, and the world (and even the Aussie media) sat up and took notice when Aussie rider Casey Stoner was heading for the motoGP championship.
As a general rule, though, the sports coverage on the nightly news is about whichever of the big three – football, cricket or tennis – happens to be in season.
Which is how the tragic death of Judd Greedy, aged 28, was largely overlooked by the mainstream media.
(Photo used with permission Tali Doherty)
I didn't know Judd personally, but some friends of mine did, and his death has touched them terribly. A beautiful young woman is devastated and her parents are helpless to console her. Friends who knew him on the racing circuit are shattered.
Judd Greedy was a very promising motorcycle racer – a talent to be reckoned with, and a great bloke by all accounts – a 'court jester', a guy whose smile lit up any room he was in – and a young bloke whose year 2009 should've been; and his life was cut short on Sunday morning doing what he loved – racing his motorcycle.
From what I have heard, Judd was leading the field when he highsided coming out of a corner at Symmons Plains in Tasmania, in one of the Australian Superbikes races. He was subsequently hit by two other bikes while he was under his bike. There was a fireball as one of the bikes exploded on impact. Two other riders were injured, and Judd died at the scene. The day's racing was abandoned, the shocked crowd went home – and the media was strangely silent.
Another sporting tragedy occurred when an Australian Rugby player, Brumby Shawn Mackay, died in hospital the day after Judd's untimely death. 26 year old Mackay was hit by a car in South Africa over a week ago as he left a nightclub. Another elite young sportsman dead – and the media went crazy.
When somebody dies there's a ripple effect as those whose lives they are a part of try to come to terms with the loss. The lead story on the Monday night news showed the devastation on the faces of Shawn Mackay's fellow players, and broadcast their shocked words around the country.
The ripple surrounding Judd Greedy's death has been less public, less publicised, but no less devastating. People I know and care about are hurting because they will never have the opportunity to spend time with Judd again; to hear him laugh or crack stupid jokes – or to watch him race, cheer him on, pay him out, stir him up... he's gone. Australia has lost a great motorcycling talent, a family has lost a son and a lot of people have lost a friend.
You will be missed, Judd Greedy, by more people than you could have imagined.