Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

“Faster, Higher, Stronger.”
-Olympic Motto

I felt a little despondent about the upcoming Paralympics a few days ago when I heard that the Olympic torch passed through the town – at least eight hours after the event. There was no publicity, nothing to say that it was happening. It came and went and you were lucky to see it if you were in the area at the time.

After the success of the London 2012 Olympics, I really hope that the same attention to detail is given to the Paralympics. The medalists from Team GB are being hailed as Super Humans, but realistically the Super Humans are those who have overcome adverse conditions, loss of limbs and whatever else to be there, tonight, at the opening ceremony and for the next two weeks competing.
My faith was restored somewhat after listening to an uplifting interview with Channel 4 Paralympics Presenter Daraine Mulvihill. I wrote my blog in my head on the way home after hearing her on the radio. Her excitement and her own personal story that took her to where she was today was inspiring.
Daraine was a cross country runner with several medals to her name when she contracted meningitis at the age of sixteen. She had both of her legs amputated below the knee and lost all of her fingers. She runs on blades now, and if there is ever a presenter than can empathize and really know what the athletes are going through – she’s the one.

I also had a spare half an hour at lunchtime and against my better judgement, bought Hello! magazine after seeing a six page spread on the elite British Athletes of the 2012 Paralympics. So I’m buoyed once more to be behind my country all the way, and I hope that wherever you are – you might also spare the time to catch up on the Paralympics and support your respective teams. Let’s watch Oscar Pistorius take that gold and Jason Smyth keep his title of the ‘Fastest Paralympian on Earth…’ and let’s be proud of how far we’ve come not only as countries but as human beings.

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“I didn’t rescue the nation from the depths of Napoleon Bonaparte, but you do the best you can do in your style of racing.”

– Ben Ainslie

On the afternoon of the final day of the London 2012 Olympics, our 65th Medal was won by a fantastic conclusion to the Modern Pentathlon. It has been an incredible few weeks with the sports being talked about more than ever. Everywhere I have been, Olympics has been a topic that just about anyone has delved into and that in itself has been incredible.

Unity has been something that our country has talked about, promised and aimed for over the years often without any visible results. As with any major event and undertaking such as this, there have been complaints, slip ups and the crowd of people who do nothing but complain. But generally, it has been hailed as one of the biggest successes that Great Britain has ever pulled off, certainly that London has ever managed.

This year, 44 world records have been set and 117 Olympic records have been broken. How amazing is that? Athletes from across the world have performed together, laughed together and cried together and every moment has been truly incredible. It also gives a humble feeling when you see the gold medalist swapping shirts with the last person to cross a finish line. Or the USA athlete shaking hands with a woman who last time the Olympics was hosted, wouldn’t have been allowed to take part due to the rules in her country. Whilst the spotlight for me, has been on the UK and how our athletes have performed it has been utterly incredible to see the interactions from across the world.

So with that in mind, and with assistance from William, we decided to get creative with an ornamental London Telephone Box and some  arty paper! A couple of these shots are his, and a couple are mine – we lost track! The Telephone Box is an iconic vision in London and one that is fast disappearing throughout the rest of the country. These days, you can rarely use a telephone box with normal coins and instead most of them take only credit card. A definite sign of the times. We have a great use for one of our local village telephone boxes though – you can read more about that in my Day One Post: The Telephone Box Library.

Back to the Olympics however – our opening Ceremony almost brought a tear to my eye as everything that was ultimately British was celebrated, performed and portrayed in front of millions of viewers. Our closing ceremony tonight promises to be a poignant and expressive roundup of not only the past few weeks but the previous decades of music, sport and achievement. It’s not over yet, with the Paralympics fast approaching us I am looking forward to watching the coverage in a few weeks time!

I have never felt as proud to be British as I do right now. In a city that was rioting this time last year, Britain has put on a performance to be remembered. There were fears about security, about sinking stadiums and accommodation due to the rain and mud – about how staff were being treated and how we’d cope on the roads with such an increase of traffic. The security worked out, the stadiums held, the broadcasting was incredible…And you know what? It didn’t even rain – that much.

Behind The Scenes

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