Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Pride & Prejudice

The London 2012 Olympics has just finished and what a fantastic show it was!  I must confess I was completely uninterested in the whole thing until the games got under way.  Actually to be precise it was at the opening ceremony when the sound of “Going underground” by the Jam came booming out.  The opening ceremony had me feeling confused up until that point by from then on I enjoyed it.

The games themselves were great too.  I celebrated every medal won by TeamGB, no matter what the sport, even the Dressage.  What a performance from Bradley Wiggins added a gold to the Tour de France he’d won only a couple of weeks earlier!!  The middle Saturday was fantastic with the under pressure Jess Ennis winning the Gold the country demanded and winning it in style.  Then Greg Rutherford won a surprise gold in the long jump and looked like he couldn’t believe it either.  The evening was completed when Mo Farah won the 10000 metres and the sight of his wife & daughter running to greet him brought a lump to my throat.  One of my friends missed all this because he was watching second rate football on the other channel.

The undisputed king of the athletics stadium was Jamaican Usain Bolt, whenever he ran the world stopped and for the second games in a row he was unbeatable.  GB dominated the cycling, done bloody well in the rowing and equestrian events too.  Lots of medals in boxing and a few more to our sailors.  On the last Saturday Mo Farrah picked up a second gold for 5000 metres, what a star!

There was lots of talk about being “proud to be British” after all of this.  I can understand this but I don’t feel any more or less proud to be British because our TeamGB done so well.  I gained enjoyment from watching people who had worked hard and trained for the last four years, reach the pinnacle of their career in their own home Olympic games and share the experience with all of us.  I enjoyed it on a more personal level rather than the extension of “TeamGB have done well therefore I must be great too because I’m British”.  However one enjoyed it doesn’t matter though.  Our games were a success on every level, who could have predicted TeamGB finishing third on the medal table?

It is much easier to feel proud of people like Jess Ennis, Mo Farrah, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and so on than it is the overpaid footballing thugs who will be all over our TV screens again very soon.  It’s also easier to feel affection for all of our Olympic athletes than a certain mercenary cricketer who has been in the headlines lately.  The third and final test begins at Lords tomorrow and I was glad to see KP has been left out of the squad, I don’t think England had any choice even if it makes winning the test to level the series that bit harder.  Maybe the improvement in morale will give England a boost but it’s hard to see England defeating a very good South African team.  We live in hope!!

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