The Olympics….Was it Worth it?
Posted on August 13, 2012
Blimey, getting up this morning to be greeted grey clouds and a cool wind gave me real end of summer feeling, even if we have hardly had one. For a man who spends a lot of time at home, the Olympics has provided me huge amounts of entertainment either on Radio 5 or BBC TV in the last few weeks and it must have been a bizarre sight for our local postman to see me pacing the living room in anxiety as Nick Skelton headed for gold in a show jumping competition in which I didn’t have a clue what the rules were, but cheered loudly anyway, along with the enthusiastic majority of this sport loving nation.
It is difficult to imagine any other nation getting so gripped by sport like the Brits do, if there had been a ‘Watch the Paint Dry’ competition, thousands would have lined the streets to cheer their heroes on to a gold medal in the Matt Emulsion Pairs which would offer the winners two weeks of fame before Premier League football predictably takes precedence once again. I must say, I was only mildly disappointed when Team GB got knocked out of the football, because had they progressed further, the hype would have gathered momentum in the popular press and there would have been a real danger of the heroes of more obscure sports getting overshadowed; Footballers get enough press for the other fifty weeks of the year.
Jess Ennis: A New British Icon
So what is the legacy left behind after the Olympics? Well the first of all, it has to be said the the organisation and the presentation of the games has been nothing short of excellent and the GB Olympians have certainly rid us of the tag of gallant losers; it needs remembering that in Atlanta in 1996, we won just one gold medal. I also think that the Olympics has shown the world that the British are multi-cultural, self-effacing, helpful, quirky and supportive of everyone of every race and every nation, that has to be something to be proud of and it has in my opinion, been an incredible two weeks. Britain it seems, is a prouder and more positive nation after the Olympics, of course, how long that lasts, only time will tell.
I am the first to admit that it won’t be long before many of the names of the medal winners disappear from our memory banks, but the likes of Mo Farrah, Jessica Ennis and Bradley Wiggins will stay with us forever. I saw that clip of Jess Ennis trying not to cry at her medal ceremony again last night, it get’s me every time, as does the the one with Kathy Copeland and Sophie Hoskin, and only the least compassionate, hardest, miserable bastard, would have failed to have been touched by the trauma that Mark Hunter and Zak Purchase suffered after failing to win gold in the men’s double sculls. By this time next week, Purchase and Hunter will be forgotten and the sports news will all be about Ferdinand’s, Rooney’s, Lampard’s and Terry’s; I love football, but that depresses me like fuck!
Emotional stuff: Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase with John Inverdale
So my favourite Olympic memory had to be the girls getting their medals for the double sculls rowing, the heady cocktail of sheer raw emotion, disbelief, relief and utter joy, made a whole nation want to give them a big hug, it had me sobbing with pleasure. If they can’t inspire a generation of increasingly obese young women to get of their arses and do something physical with their lives instead of copying the likes of Jordan and all the other members of trash culture, I really don’t know who can.
On that note, it is with some irony that I have spent the last two weeks sat on my own fat arse watching it, so I guess I better take some inspiration from it all and get back down the gym and do some pedaling and rowing as I conveniently forget the cost of it all as well as the performance of George Michael, which was so bad there should be a judge led public inquiry in to whose idea it was to book him for the closing ceremony.
Otherwise I thought it was great!