The Olympics are over, and whilst we wait for the Paralympics to start, I think it’s fair to say that the Olympics were a much bigger event than I realised. I’m sure the successes of Team GB contributed but even without that, the coverage by the BBC, and the overall feeling of euphoria and pride that built from that amazing opening ceremony was genuinely moving.
It was a funny thing, watching that opening ceremony and finding myself hugely moved by it and then to find those emotions carried through whilst watching the events. Whether cheering on cyclists, swimmers, runners, jumpers or people shooting things, I found myself bought in to the whole concept of Team GB. Most odd.
The one thing I’m taking away from the Olympics, is that it showed that we can do great things, that the great British approach of “ach we are alright I guess” CAN be “We are AWESOME!”.
I’ve spoken before about focussing on positives, and keeping clear of negativity wherever I can, and this is all proof positive of what it can achieve. Of course all the competitors train hard, are dedicated and will push themselves, but hearing the members of Team GB thank the crowds for spurring them on suggests there was more to it than just training.
Someone I work with, when asked how he is doing, will always say “I’m great!” or “I’m fantastic!” and whilst he may be feigning those emotions, I’ve started trying it myself (although with words like “good”, I’m not quite ready to say I’m fantastic yet) and it works. A little bit of PMA (positive mental attitude) goes a long way it seems.
I enjoyed the Olympics immensely, I always do being a bit of a sport nut. I like seeing sports you don’t see much coverage of getting the spotlight, I like those special moments that bring a sporting victory into sharp relief (c’mon, who didn’t shed a tear at the story of Gemma Gibbons looking heaven-ward and saying “love you Mum”), I like the underdogs take part knowing they won’t win but can say they competed at the Olympics.
I’ve also been a little saddened that the disparity between men and women still exists, that amidst all the fervour there were moments of tragedy, and that even as the closing ceremony reached its end, the view seemed to be that we would return to previous values of ‘good enough’.
The stories make such a big part of the events, it’s not just about a piece of metal for so many of the competitors, it is about a life event, the completion of a long hard journey. Just being an Olympics competitor is an achievement few people will experience and that to me is a great message to take from watching some of these people.
You don’t have to be the best of the best to achieve, as long as you are pushing yourself and doing the best you can, you are already ahead of the game.
The Olympics continue to conflict and amaze but I bloody love them!