Inspire a generation

The London 2012 Olympic Games start officially today.

There are loads of reasons to complain.  It cost too much.  It’s too corporate.  The sponsors are inappropriate.  The traffic is a nightmare.  There’s nothing else on TV.  The ticketing was a shambles…

The thing is, I don’t remember sitting at home as a child watching the world’s greatest athletes compete and thinking anything other than I wish I could do that… and going outside and try to copy them.

I didn’t rush to the fridge for a carbonated drink or to the local fast food outlet.

I ran, swam, rode my bike, made javelins from sticks and shot put stones.

I remember North & South Korea walking together behind one flag.  I remember Derek Redmond limping round the track, helped by his dad.  I remember Carl Lewis, Michael Phelps, Kelly Holmes, Cathy Freeman, Steve Redgrave and many, many more incredible athletes push the human body to beyond what we thought possible.  I remember Mohamed Ali, shaking due to Parkinson’s Disease, light the Olympic flame.

I was inspired by their talent, courage, determination, commitment, fair play and their joy.  I still am.

So, you’ve had seven years to complain.  Now, please be quiet and let a generation of young people be inspired to be “faster, higher, stronger”.

Let the games begin.

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