Like the majority of the UK and I expect other parts of the world (although I hear your coverage hasn’t been brilliant) O and I have been caught up with Olympic fever the last couple of weeks. Things are starting to slow down over the last couple of days simply because a lot of the sports have finished but we’re still choosing to watch the sports we know little about or turn the TV off rather than watch something that isn’t Olympics related.
There have been a couple of stand out moments for me so far in the games that have really touched on what sportsmanship/womanship is really about. (In reality there have been a huge amount of stand out moments but these have really stuck with me).
Kirani James of Grenada, the 400m runner, who won gold Grenada’s first Olympic medal however it wasn’t James’ sprinting ability that I admired most it, was his attitude and behaviour after one of the heats. Where despite winning the race he immediately turned to one of his opponents Oscar Pistorius and asked to swap name badges something I’ve never seen done at the end of an athletics race. I’m sure you’ve already heard Pistorius’ story but if not you really should look it up. The fact that he was allowed to run at the Olympics was a mammoth feat in itself. Interviewed on his victory and his journey through to the next round James was asked why he’d wanted Pistorius’ name badge and the young athlete spoke of the honour it was to race against him and that Pistorius’ was a legend in their event and he had wanted the name badge as a souvenir of the momentous day when they’d been able to race against each other.
The second moment came just last night, I’d rushed home from my Pilates class and had come sprinting up the stairs just in time to watch Bolt and Blake run the 200m final. I’d debated just sitting in the car and listening to it on the radio as I knew it would all be over in 20 seconds and I definitely can’t run that fast. However I did make it to the sofa in time and got to see the race. After the race we watched as the three Jamaicans did their laps of honour and took in the adulation of the crowd. Bolt performed his usual antics and they mucked about as team mates who have all just won medals can. It was a hot night and the windows were open to try and get air circulating through the house. Our downstairs neighbours were having a family gathering and we could hear strands of their conversation as well as the grand kids playing on the lawn. It was then I heard the young boys saying to each other – “You be Blake, I want to be Bolt” “Ok now it is my turn to be Bolt”. Inspire a generation – right there and then. Ok so they were soon back to playing with their football but for a moment they realised that football wasn’t the be all and end all and that they have been able to witness sporting legends.
There have been less pleasant standout moments but they have involved male rowers/cyclists and their incredibly tight shorts. However to go into detail would just demean the point of this post!