I think watching England lose on penalties in every major football competition had somewhat soured the passion for sport in my heart where England were concerned. The team always seemed to reflect the state of our nation’s leaders (that includes bankers and topmost moguls leading the media); overpaid and un-delivering when it matters.
From the absolute scandal of the Leveson enquiry (the press getting into bed with the police) to the current abomination that is Libor (fiddling of average interest rates), the country’ topmost (not all) seem to keep disappointing us and failing us at every turn.
Yet in contrast, I find myself inspired by these set of Olympians who have really turned up at the games and absolutely put heart and soul into representing their country with true patriotic zeal, something maybe some of our sillier politicians should possibly learn from.
The attitude with which the athletes take to their sports, the crowd and everything is simply admirable and absolutely humble in every quarter. I wonder if our bankers were as humble as this maybe they wouldn’t have to justify their work by overpaying themselves mind boggling bonuses. Hmm.
Obviously the point will be raised that these are all different disciplines and that politics is certainly not a sport (is it not?) but team GB (that stands for Great Britain by the way) have illustrated not just amazing physical performances but a roster of transferable attributes that can benefit anyone in any field. Attributes we can all implement in our lives.
The official slogan for the 2012 Olympics is ‘inspire a generation’. Going on twitter yesterday made it all the more real just what an impact the Olympics is having on people of all ages. Olympic fever has spread across twitter like a flame chasing a fuse but it was more than just trivial hype, or witty coined phrases-this was genuine pride on display from people who I’d least expect to be sports fans let alone Olympic fans. I hope the rioters are watching and learning from real role models. Better yet, I hope they’re on twitter too.
Many may argue that the hedonistic origins of the Olympics motto ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius,’ Latin for ‘Higher, Faster, Stronger’ is much more prominent in this Olympics which has been by far the most commercial but the counter argument can be easily made that, the focus hasn’t been taken from the athletes by any stretch of one’s imagination. In fact, its intensified as we’ve all with a sense of joint pride watched team GB soar up the medals table and really compete. I guess the writing was on the wall showing us a premonition of things to come when the opening ceremony simply blew us all away with a cacophony of amazing elements that blended into one patriotic display to be proud of for years to come.
Let’s not get carried away with ourselves though. Just as the Chinese and Americans have gapped us in terms of medals, we have a long way to go in terms of true progress, as double dip recession drowns us further into the tea cup of doom that is the stifling economy and unemployment levels are breaking their own ‘world records’ in the jam packed Velodrome of job seekers.
Every Olympian on team GB has trained staggeringly hard to get where they are, time has been invested, as well as money and most of all they’ve taken their opportunities and made the most of them. Maybe we can take courage from the Olympic heroes of GB and stick it out in whatever domain we find ourselves. The athletes have proven that you can win the heart of the nation by representing the nation with unselfish (naughty footballers take note), unwavering patriotic stance. Maybe if the elected do the same and go for gold, who knows, they may just win us over and we might just get behind them and give them the push they need to get gold and do the nation proud.
God knows, this Olympics is the first time I’ve found an excuse to sing the national anthem and before now I didn’t even know it. There hasn’t been much to sing about until now (save the jubilee) to be honest. I strongly predict that this is changing. I think even the queen would sing the national anthem but singing ‘God save the queen’ when you are queen is vain. She’d sing ‘God save Great Britain’ and wouldn’t that be fitting? I think we’d for the longest time forgotten we lived in a ‘Great’ country (it isn’t devoid of idiots but what country is?).Team GB have challenged us to dare to dream of a ‘Great Britain’ again with their sterling ideal as they bare all excellence for the country.