I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who suffered from the post-Olympics blues last week. Those two weeks were full of optimism, excitement and joy. There was a sense that we really did like each other and our country, and that we, as a nation, have pulled off such a great sporting event. Not to mention the 29 fabulous gold medal performances by TeamGB and all the others from medalists and non-medalists.
Highlights: The highlight for me was getting to experience it all by going to some events. But my sporting highlights come from outside of these. Mo Farah winning first the 10000m and then the 5000m in some style. Andy Murray finally succeeding in an important final. The Brownlee brothers in the triathlon. Jessica Ennis finishing off the 800m to win the heptathlon gold. She didn’t have to cross the line first as she already had the gold in the bag, but she was busting her gut to do it in front of her home crowd. Sally Pearson narrowly won the women’s 100m hurdle, but when she crossed the line she didn’t realise she’d won. There is a delay as she stands watching the video screen and when her name comes up first she just loses it. Wonderful reaction.
But my absolute favourite bit was watching Galen Rupp. He is the American athlete who is Mo Farah’s training partner, and they seemed to run the race tactically together. Whilst Mo was running away dictating the last lap, Galen was moving through the field to take the silver medal. But the look on his face when he crosses the line – he seems more happy for Mo, that his friend has won the gold, than he is of his own wonderful achievement. He runs straight over to his friend to congratulate him and is genuinely overjoyed. Fantastic moment (poor quality video coming up):
Inspire a Generation: Hearing the stories of the athletes involved, and the hard work they have put in was inspirational. This piece on Mo Farah mentions just a tiny bit of the training he does – years of preparation and practice which come together in this great moment. It inspired me to run some more. I’ve thought about finding a volleyball club (as I used to play in school) or playing more badminton (ditto). And that is part of what the government wanted the Olympics to do – inspire us, and in particularly children, to get involved in more sport. But there was more to it than that. They also wanted to inspire us with the notion that if we set a goal and work towards it, it can be possible. The inspiration for high achievement.
It got me thinking that often we drift through life. What would it be like if we really set goals to work towards, and prioritize those by cutting out things that don’t help us towards those. I doubt that many of us grow up dreaming “I really want to own a Volvo / Audi /BMW” when I grow up, but in the absence of any great goal these materialistic impulses take over in our adulthood. What would it be like to have personal individual goals, work goals, and even family goals to work towards? We have discussed this a little as a family and wondered what would be possible. We even thought about saving to go to Rio 2016 (but might leave it until the one after that!). Otherwise we talking about giving more, committing to support and visit our missionary siblings more (as a visit does wonders for missionaries), and having purposeful family time more. All things to work towards, plan, save and set priorities towards.
How have the Olympics inspired you?