Australian of the Year and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush says support for our Olympic athletes should not hinge on whether they win gold in London.
He acknowledged Australia's low medal tally, so far, but recognised athletes, and artists, who pursue excellence in their fields.
The actor visited the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Redfern on Monday when asked if more funding would result in more success in arts and culture, and sport.
"We should be striving for excellence I think," he told AAP.
"Like (James) Magnussen's so-called loss by 0.01 of a second - has been blown up out of all proportion to a point where you thought, `this is sort of absurd'."
Australia is currently at 24 on the gold medals table, with a single win in the women's 4x100 freestyle relay at the beginning of the Games.
Mr Rush, who won an Oscar for best actor in 1996 for the film Shine, said success was not always measured by awards.
"It's comparable to my industry," he said.
"If you get nominated for an Oscar and you don't win it, it's (considered) a cliche, but it's great to be nominated."
He also acknowledged coming second was not always easy.
"I did read with interest about the silver medal psychological phenomenon that they feel, `Oh, I wanted gold but I got silver'," Mr Rush said.
"Whereas bronze medal winners feel quite buoyant and positive because they got a medal and didn't come fourth."
Mr Rush credited school sport in Brisbane for turning him towards a successful career in acting.
"When I saw the boys running towards me in rugby league, I ran the other way and never looked back," he said.
"This eventually led to the opening of an envelope in Los Angeles and winning an Oscar."
"So I'd like to thank the entire sporting fraternity for turning me towards my career."