Boat Race cox Oskar Zorrilla says sorry for 'bellowing f**k'
Oxford man apologises for turning the air blue - but what did the BBC expect?
OSKAR ZORRILLA, the Oxford cox who turned the air blue by "bellowing f**k" throughout the Boat Race on Sunday has apologised for shocking the TV audience, but claimed he was only using the kind of language employed by other sports stars.
The BBC was forced to issue an apology after the postgraduate economics student repeatedly swore at his team of rowers as he steered them to victory over Cambridge.
Both coxes were wearing microphones and had been asked to tone down their language during the race. However, Zorrilla's emotions got the better of him as he urged on his team during a "crucial push" in the race.
"He was heard bellowing 'f**k' at least five times as millions of viewers watched the televised race," reported the London Evening Standard. But Colombian-born Zorrilla told the paper he wanted to apologise "to anyone I offended".
"I also want to apologise to the BBC for having to smooth over the situation for me," he said adding that he was unaware that he had been so profane.
"I knew I was mic'd up, but once you get out on to the water, it is really just you and the eight guys," he explained. "In one way it is very public, but in another, it is just me and them."
He said that much of the swearing took place during a crucial part of the race as Oxford sought to break the Cambridge crew, and argued that if you were to put microphones on footballers or other elite sportsmen "it might not make for Sunday afternoon viewing".
There was support for the Oxford cox in the media. The Times sided with him in an editorial. It noted that his words of encouragement were "more vigorous than varied" but added: "No fault lies with Zorrilla. His choice of language is not a scandal, but a fact of life."
Daily Telegraph blogger Tom Chivers agreed. "Are we really surprised that someone involved in top-level sport swore while competing?" he asked, and even suggested that the language had been the most interesting part of the whole event. ·