I feel like this will change things. This will change things, right? #Olympics.
— Lauren Laverne (@laurenlaverne) August 4, 2012
Let me start by saying that there are a lot of things about the Olympics that I disagree with and that make me angry. I think some of the sponsor rules have been silly, the ticket allocation was a fiasco and the events themselves have not been what you would call “accessible”. However, there is so much here to be happy about even for a sports avoider like me.
Watching the Olympics while following on Twitter and Facebook is a joy. It’s like watching in the pub with all of your friends, chatting and sharing and cheering everyone on. Brilliant.
— Grace Dent (@gracedent) August 5, 2012
As a Scot who has lived in London for the last seven years and has an English husband, it’s brilliant to be on the same side as all of my friends and family. I love being Scottish and I’m really proud of the achievements of the Scottish members of Team GB – but I’m also British.
The thing I love most about being British is our long history of welcoming different cultures onto our tiny Island (Isolationism aside) and being able to share the proud traditions of the different countries already part of the UK. Yes, we’re not perfect and things aren’t perfect, but we would be a bland and culturally-baron place were we to only value Anglo Saxon and Celtic heritage. Me? I value humanity and celebration of the human spirit. Oh, and haggis, obvs.
It saddens me that some people only value “local” or “global”, why can’t there be value in both? Janie’s School itself is a great example of local people getting together to make a difference globally. I can’t tell you how proud it makes me to come from a town where local entrepreneurial spirit thrives alongside a deep belief in charity and our responsibility to protect those who can’t always protect themselves.
The spirit of the Olympic games is in its humanity. The celebration of triumph over adversity; even if you think most of our athletes are societally elite (you’d be wrong btw), there’s no mistaking the hard work, dedication and soul that ALL of our team have in buckets.
John Inverdale interviews Zac Purchase & Mark Hunter
Multi cultural Britain
— Sali Hughes (@salihughes) August 4, 2012
Now, friends, I am not sporty. At all. But I can completely see the value in sport for inspiring young people, political change (see the Clare Balding video from my last post) and national pride. It’s about people, and people are lovely:
Spirit of UK sport
Mo Farah Fact – when he was 17, Paula Radcliffe paid for his driving lessons so he could get to practices at night.
— Robert Colvile (@rcolvile) August 5, 2012
I’ve seen a few comments about including sports like Tennis, Basketball and Football in the Olympics and all I have to say about it is this; the pinacle of these sports may not be in their Olympic medals but including them gives huge opportunities to young people who would not otherwise get to rub shoulders with this level of sports men and women. By including Basketball, NBA players from across the world are put into their national teams with other, less experienced, local players. This is a great way for sports to develop within countries that don’t normally have access to leagues like the NBA. It’s the same with Tennis (less so with the Football).
My experience of being part of the host nation? It’s been a privilege to be part of the democratising of sport for the UK and the world. Does this change things? Maybe, maybe not – but for now, we can all be proud to be part of Team GB.