Tom Hall, Tuesday 04 September 2012
What an Olympics! London, you have done us proud. Having spent those two, glorious weeks on my backside sat in front of the TV, I think I should do something a little more productive. How about join a gym? Go for a run? Or better still get on my bike! I have been inspired; have you?
Now that we are in the afterglow of the Olympics, it’s time to look back and consider what this nation has just experienced. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say how proud I am of what we have achieved. It has been so refreshing to see the country come together and enjoy the moment and forget, momentarily about the economic crisis we are all still faced with. The opening and closing ceremony has proven to everyone but also, more importantly to our selves, that we can still do great things, something that this nation seems to have forgotten over the past few decades.
Team GB’s scintillating performance on the bike seems to have inspired quite a few already to blow away the cobwebs on their bicycle and take to the street. This is no co-incidence. People appear to have been motivated by the great performances from Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Jason Kenny, Sir Chris Hoy, Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton, the list goes on. This is a great way to exercise and have fun at the same time. With the time trial and the road race featuring heavily in Surrey and south-west London, it is no surprise that people want in on the action.
The performances of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah in the athletics will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy. As will Nicola Adam’s great achievement of being the first female boxer in history to win an Olympic gold medal. She will hopefully inspire other females to take up the sport of boxing and follow in her footsteps. After three consecutive silver Olympic medals, rower Katherine Grainger finally seized gold in the double skulls, completing the fairytale.
Overall, Team GB’s wonderful performance at Eton Dorney will no doubt inspire us mere mortals or, indeed, the younger generation to get out on the River Thames. With Jade Jones winning gold in Taekwondo and Gemma Gibbons winning silver in Judo, a new generation could be inspired to become future martial arts experts. New sports that have never been televised in the UK such as handball have proved to be a great success. Other sports that we are slightly more familiar with, such as football, have been slightly more disappointing. Olympic football on the whole still seems too contrived with the varying rules on which players are eligible. The less said about the football... the better.
‘Inspire a generation’ was the official slogan for London 2012 and I am confident that its legacy will live long in the memory of us all. Our Olympic future is now in the hands of a new generation of hopefuls, who will be striving to own gold.