During the build-up to the Olympics, East Anglian Troy must confess that thoughts of the event weren’t firing his imagination. However I decided to watch the opening ceremony just out of curiosity (mainly to see how high the bar was being set for London) and I was VERY impressed. It was never my intention though to get over excited about any particular event.
My attitude has certainly changed over the last few days! Can you believe Team GB being THIRD in the medals table (at the time of writing at least*)? There have certainly been some heroic performances. I knew we were strong in sailing and cycling but Rebecca Adlington’s Gold medal in the 400m swimming seemed to come out of nowhere. It was heart warming to see her joy at winning and to hear the interviews with both her and her family who were watching back home. Then to find out that the 800m was actually her real forte wetted the appetite for weekend. I can’t actually imagine swimming 800m against the clock – I’m a weak swimmer (like to keep within my depth) and at the end of one length of the pool (a constant 1.2m deep at the gym) I need to stop for a breather. “Becks” can certainly swim – we have a new national hero in the “Mansfield Mermaid”. Back in the Spring it seemed a no-brainer that Lewis Hamilton would win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year – but the odds now must be on Rebecca, and quite rightly.
I can remember back in the late 60’s and the ‘70s when we were pleased to see GB achieving a single Gold at the Games. How times have changed. A neglected hero here is Sir John Major – it’s lottery money from the National Lottery which he set up that has made this great improvement possible. Someone on the radio was complaining about the money spent on the Olympics. I understand where they are coming from, but the Olympics will inspire millions around the world – to take up swimming, sailing, rowing, riding or even the “hop, skip and jump”. So let’s celebrate something positive. Even if not a penny was spent on the Olympics we’d still have to suffer news of Saddam, Mugabe, Putin, Bin Ladin and our local villain, Gordon Brown.
* we finished fourth overall - a brilliant result