Controversy becoming too much for Olympic shooter Lauryn Mark
Paul Kent in London
The Daily Telegraph
July 24, 201212:00AM
LAURYN Mark, frustrated and running out of time, broke down after her first practice shoot in London.
It came just hours after she read Eddie McGuire's column accusing her of indulging in "soft porn".
McGuire also criticised husband Russell Mark over his fight with Shooting Australia after he was denied permission to room with his wife during the Games.
Then too many missed shots on the range to top it off, and it all unravelled.
"I'm sorry," a weeping Lauryn said. "Can we do this in 10 minutes?"
She barely got the words out.
Russell Mark refutes McGuire's "soft porn" allegation.
Ten minutes later she was back, apologising, and saying her frustration was the result of the looming Olympic deadline and poor form.
"You can do all the hard work and when things don't go according to plan you start panicking a bit," she said.
She was also dealing with McGuire's comments after she appeared in a bikini spread in this month's Zoo Magazine.
"I wasn't exactly impressed with the article," she said.
"I consider him a person that I have always thought a lot of and I respect his opinion and, probably, most of the Australian public feels the same.
"To have him write and article that didn't depict us in a positive light is a little bit hurtful. I just hope he understands that we do dedicate ourselves a lot to our sport and because we have an opinion or talk about our sport we're not bad people."
Russell Mark is keen to distance himself from the controversy - "I lost that battle, didn't I," he quipped - but also expressed his disappointment with McGuire's comments.
"I'm a bit disappointed in Eddie," he said.
"I really feel sorry for Lauryn. He called her a soft actress or something, that's bit of a low blow."
McGuire wrote: "(Russell Mark's) American-born Olympian wife, Lauryn, posed for the Zoo Magazine in what sounds like a soft-porn photo shoot."
Mark said he was disappointed his argument pointing out gay couples were not prevented from rooming together, yet married couple were, was portrayed as an attack on gay people.
Diver Matthew Mitcham, reigning gold medallist in the 10m platform dive, is Australia's only openly gay Olympic athlete.
"I was very sad that whole issue got thrown up as an anti-gay comment," he said.
"I spoke to Matty Mitcham. I like Matty, because I didn't want him to get the wrong idea.
"It was a gender-based argument, it's not so much that there's many couples here who are gay athletes.
"I didn't mean to offend."
Mark tried to overturn the Australian Olympic Committee's refusal to allow him to room with his wife after they were told rooms were being divided along gender lines.
It also emerged yesterday that after so much damaging debate, Mark's roommate Michael Diamond is yet to arrive in the village, due in next week.
Asked if that allowed Lauryn to stay in his room, Mark laughed and replied: "Michael gets here on the 31st."
Which, it was pointed out, left plenty of nights for Lauryn to stay in his room.
"Michael gets here on the 31st," he laughed again.
I like McGuire but what a low stupid thing to say about Lauryn Mark, I hope she can sue the Arse Clown from here to breakfast time.