Idols and / or role models?

One day of media consumption, three baffling examples of role models…

  1. Wout Van Aert (2x world champion cyclocross), in Kroonprinsen van het veldrijden. In one episode Wout, who lives in Herentals, has to visit his physiotherapist in Antwerp. The distance between Herentals – Antwerp is 37 km. Perfectly doable by bike (a good training along the canal) or just over 30 minutes or 4 stops by train. What Wout chooses is to use his beautiful car and joins the traffic jam!
  2. Tom Boonen (4x Paris Roubaix, 3x Ronde van Vlaanderen) is planning his after cycling career. After the spring of 2017 he will become ambassador and distributor of the highly exclusive car manufacturer Donkervoort. Good for him. In an article accompanying this statement he claims: ‘En ik rij heel graag. In de zomer ging ik geregeld met onze pa wat bollen in mijn Donkervoort. ‘s Morgens vertrekken, een kilometer of 800 rijden op mooie baantjes, zalig’ (‘In the summer I often asked my father to join me to go touring with my Donkervoort. 800 km in one dag on nice roads, heavenly’).
  3. Usain Bolt (multiple olympic champion) likes to party. Recently he flew to Trinidad and Tobago by private jet, just to celebrate carnival.

Can role models in the current climate still claim things like this? In my opinion (no, I don’t envy their success nor money – I just talk about the real meaning of this) the answer is no. Why does succes so often equals high emissions? And what does it say to the common people? You’re a loser until you can pollute like this? Idols should more often be aware of their role as role models!

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(© Kenny Van Eyken & AP)

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