Kate Ellis has been forced to suffer the humiliation of wearing a Team GB jersey.
Kate Ellis, the Australian sports minister, has been forced to suffer the humiliation of wearing a Team GB jersey after she finally honoured the Olympic bet with Gerry Sutcliffe, her British counterpart.
At the start of the Olympics, Sutcliffe made a bet with Ellis about which country would get the most medals at the Games. The pair agreed that the minister of the country that finished lower in the Olympic medal table would have to wear its rival’s national colours at a major sporting event.
The bet dragged Anglo-Australian hostilities back into the sporting limelight as both nations indulged in a spate of sledging that reopened old wounds and led to a string of gibes. But Australia have finally been forced to concede defeat with Ellis wearing the shirt during a visit to the Paralympic Games in Beijing after Team GB won 19 golds to Australia's 14.
"Kate's a great sport to honour our bet," Sutcliffe said. "But after all, we did win fair and square, with our fantastic athletes proving just how good our elite sport can be.
"The bet was a bit of light-hearted fun, but I'm thrilled that we had such unprecedented success at the Olympics, putting us in fourth position ahead of great sporting nations like Australia."
Ellis was magnanimous in defeat. "It's great that there's a healthy rivalry between our two nations and I congratulate Great Britain on their success at the Olympics," she said.
"I'll eat a little humble pie along with the Australian team and we'll work a little harder for our future success."
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