Rebecca Wilson appears to have finally realised that nothing lasts forever:
The days of punching above our weight are over.
Without professionalism in amateur sport, modern coaching techniques and serious young athletes to develop, Australia is facing at least two decades in the sporting wilderness.
These will be dark days for those of us, like me, who have taken great joy for many years in living our lives vicariously through Australian athletes.
The rest of the world has caught up and they are about to leave us behind.
This should not be a shock. While the Australian sporting industry and the Australian media have spent 30 years cheer-leading the sunburnt country, there should have been at least the odd dissenting or skeptical voice (apart from mine) suggesting the current situation was all-but unavoidable.
It is cold logic that once a country moneys up for a sport and becomes successful, others follow. Population and raw dollars almost guarantee that Australia would be passed when other countries committed resources to sport with the same zeal as Australia. Tennis is the prevalent example, but Olympic sports and cricket are all set to confront improved competition.
Aussie Rules is certainly an influence but Australian sports need to emulate, rather than fear, the AFL. (I also agree with Gideon Haigh.) Yet, even Aussie Rules would not be a world power for long if countries like the USA became major players.
Australia has advantages in sports like surfing, swimming and even golf, but Australia has no God-given right to be No.1 at anything. Everything eventually finds its own level.