David Smith’s heart of gold

David Smith.Olympic gold medallist Dave Smith was over the moon when the Australian team touched down at Sydney Airport on Wednesday.

Little did he know that his gold medal would soon have a few red faces for company.

Once all the formalities were over Smith jumped into a car with a friend, eager to get to his home in Warilla after many months overseas.

All was fine until a police officer noticed the vehicle, in which Smith was a passenger, was unregistered.

The registration had expired a week earlier, while Smith was winning his gold medal at the London Olympics as a member of the K4 men’s kayak crew.

When the driver was issued with a $700 infringement notice, gold medallist Smith did what he thought was the decent thing.

Rather than see his friend potentially cop some flak, he took responsibility for the misdemeanour himself when interviewed by the Mercury on Wednesday evening.

All was well until the next morning when Smith’s “admission” sparked a controversy online.

Yesterday, he couldn’t believe what all the fuss was about.

Now, Smith would like to make it clear that he was not the car driver.

So for all those readers hyperventilating over his alleged misdemeanour, it turns out that the Gong’s Olympic hero also deserves a gold medal in the noble and time-honoured tradition of taking the heat for his friend the driver.

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