If you didn’t know that this month hosted the Olympic Games in London, then I want to know which rock you’ve been hiding in! There has been a lot of talk over the course of the games about national pride, particularly from the British media and, as members of the host nation, the performances of British athletes have been scrutinised very closely. The whole country got behind athletes such as Jessica Ennis (heptathlon gold medallist), Mo Farah (5,000m and 10,000m gold medallist), and Tom Daley (10m platform diving bronze medallist), among many others.
I’m aware that these names are perhaps not so familiar to those of you living outside of the UK, which is why I’m not going to write a post about how wonderful the achievements of British athletes have been on home soil. Instead, I want to focus on what took me by surprise about the games, which was the real sense of international cooperation. Although teams were competitive – as they should be – the support shared between athletes, regardless of nationality, really made the games special.
The crowds also went a long way towards this; despite complaints about empty seats, those who were lucky enough to be in attendance certainly made enough noise as they cheered the competitors on. Naturally, they reserved an extra cheer for the British Olympians, but they also got behind athletes of all nationalities and abilities. There were times when I felt very proud to be British, which is not something I say very often.
More than that though, in celebrating the achievements of people all over the world, I felt incredibly proud to be human. Admittedly, I am only old enough to have really been aware of the 2008 Olympics, the winter games in Canada 2010, and those of this summer, but it really struck me this time around how much the athletes have achieved, with world records being broken left, right, and centre. The theme of the games, to ‘inspire a generation’, also hit home as there are so many people of my age and younger who have already done far more with their lives than I can even hope to do. Watching the Olympics definitely inspired me to become more proactive and take control of my life. I’ll say it: the Olympics gave me that warm fuzzy feeling.
So, whatever your view on the Olympic Games, just take a moment to think about how much these athletes have achieved through hard work and determination, and ask yourself whether you couldn’t make more of an effort to do the same, whatever your field of expertise. I guess my message is one of thankfulness, pride, and positivity.