What does life after the Olympics hold for us?
If you’re anything like us, your life will have been entirely abducted by the fabulous London Olympics. I know not everyone views them through the same rose-tinted spectacles as us, but I’ve not heard a single compelling reason not to get carried away with the games. And as if GB’s medal tally alone wasn’t excuse enough to run the union flag up the pole, to know that so many of them have been won by Yorkshire athletes has just about sent us over the edge. We’ve been profoundly swept away in this tidal wave of national pride and celebration – of what it would be like to be British if we weren’t so uptight, cynical and self-opposing.
So once the Brazilians strip us of the games (see what I did there?) what will life be like? How will we move on? It’ll surely be the worst “day after the night before” we’ve experienced ever. Not necessarily. We were in the grip of a similar bout of national euphoria when we were awarded the games on the 6th of July 2005 only to be confronted by the London bombings the very next day. 52 people had been killed.
I was in London that day and can remember how it was to see a city come to terms with such mindless destruction. What I remember most though, is how quickly everyone picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and got straight back to doing whatever it was they do every other day of their lives. Since then, it has seemed as though we’ve carried on dealing with bad news, difficult situations and challenging times. We’ve pulled in our belts so many times we’re running out of notches – but nonetheless we’ve carried on, it’s the way we are built, we’re good at making do.
And amongst all that doom and gloom, all that bad news, underhand dealings and pessimism, there’s been a group of people, who have given everything they have to perform at their very best when their moment arrived. They’re efforts have inspired us all.
The world has watched as athletes from all over the globe have brought the Olympic values of respect, friendship and excellence to life, right there in our living rooms and across our capital city.
I hope we continue to celebrate all that they have achieved. To remember how hard they worked. And to imagine how it must have felt to win. If we let them, if we push aside our cynicism and self opposition for long enough, we will allow them and their achievements to inspire us all to know that anything is possible.