Monday, 25 August 2008

... while sitting on our bums

Aye the Olympics are over for another 4 years. I really enjoyed them - the spectacle, the sport and the success. So I thought it was time for a few reflections.

It's funny how we (in the UK) get carried away with a few medals here and there. OK, so we did exceed expectations, but the way that the media has been extolling their virutes, you could be forgiven for thinking that the athletes had found a cure for all forms of cancer or eradicated global poverty. The word "heroes" is being inappropriately and over-used. They did well and hopefully they will inspire young people (and some oldies) to take up sport.

Which brings me to my next point - look at the sports where we did win gold medals. The Aussies and others had a point about us winning when we were sitting on our bums (cycling - 8 golds; yachting -4; rowing - 2; everything else - 5). I heard another observation about winning at 'posh' sports - rowing and yacthing would fit that bill. As we begin the inexorable build up to 2012 and the games in London, will we be promoting a wide range of sports, offering equal access and opportunity to all? (I have my doubts!)

I liked some of the alternative medal tables that were produced by the BBC News magazine. This leads me to wonder how much money was spent per medal achieved by some of the 'successful' countries - and what are the issues of justice relating to that. Maybe our politicians could focus on some of these issues - rather than arguing about whether or not we should have a GB football team in the 2012 games.

But I don't want to be a complete party-pooper. My last reflection is on the fastest man on earth - also, in my opinion the coolest man on earth - Usain Bolt. How awesome was he? Three golds, three world records! Maybe I'll switch my allegiance to Jamaica - they do quite well in both the traditional and alternative medal tables!

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