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.