Inspiration – London Olympics 2012

Dedication. Sacrifice. Guts. Glory.

Those four words have been displayed on the Twitter home page for the duration of the London 2012 olympics, and don’t they just sum up what London 2012 has been all about for all the Olympians.

Before the olympics started 2 weeks ago, I thought I’d watch some of the olympics as I’m a big sports fan, however I didn’t expect to get so caught up in it all. Mind you I don’t think even the organisers expected, or could have hoped for, such patriotic crowds at all the events, cheering on all the British competitors regardless of whether they finished first or last in their event.

I missed the first half hour of the opening ceremony, and to be honest, what I did see of it, I wasn’t terribly impressed. Please don’t all shout at me at once, but that kind of show, while I acknowledge it must have taken hours and hours of preparation and practice, just wasn’t my kinda thing…sorry!

The first week of the competition, I was on annual leave from work, and although I spent a lot of time with my Mum visiting my Dad in hospital, I did manage to catch quite a few of the events during that time. I’m sure like many others, I found myself compelled to watch and cheer on the British team, especially as more and more of them performed either as expected or above expectations. It all came to a head on what became known as Super Saturday (#SuperSaturday), as medal after medal was won by the British team in the rowing, cycling and then athletics. What a day that turned out to be, with Britain winning 6 gold medals in that day alone…the best tally in a single day for GB for over 100 years!

I must admit I’m not particularly patriotic when it comes to GB, as I get a bit fed up by all the comments by some people about it being the “English team”, so I’ve been particularly surprised at how caught up I found myself during Super Saturday.

Week two saw me back at work again during the day, and visiting my Dad in hospital at night, so I wasn’t able to see nearly as much of the events during the second week as I was of the first. My highlights for weeks two were definitely Sir Chris Hoy winning a record breaking 6th olympic gold medal and Mo Farah wining his 2nd gold medal of these olympics after winning both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres.

Yes TeamGB did an outstanding job overall in London 2012, yes there were a few people who underperformed, but I think that was far outweighed by those who did far better that anyone had hoped for. Well done TeamGB!

I’m sure we’ve all heard some amazing stories about some of the Olympians, their past and how they came to be taking part in the olympics, as well as how they celebrated their successes. There were inspiring stories of athletes doing amazing acts of kindness or show of their emotions. The one that really got me was the Hungarian swimmer Daniel Gyurta, who having won the 200m breaststroke events at London 2012, has offered to have a copy of his medal made to send to the late Dale Oen’s family as a mark of his respect. Norway’s Alexander Dale Oen who died suddenly in April this year of a heart problem was world champion in this event and so would have come into London 2012 as one of the favourites for this event if it hadn’t been for his untimely death. What a touching thing for the Hungarian swimmer to do.

I’ve already spoken about how proud I was seeing so many British competitors perform way above expectations, and the joy shown by the nation as we celebrated with them in their successes. But what does all this success do for us as a nation going forward? Well I hope it inspires us all to get out there and take up a sport and hopefully we can find some new stars who will be up there competing for gold medals in Rio in 2016 and in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014!

Finally I just want to congratulate the BBC on their absolutely superb coverage on a variety of mediums, as they covered all olympic sports in all venues. Not only was the coverage superb, but the commentators were fantastic too. Well done to the BBC!

Well done London 2012 and a particular well done to TeamGB on an excellent performance!

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