London twenty twelve, the games, the longest sports day ever. No matter what you call it everyone is talking about the Olympics.
Personally I’ve gone through phases with it. I was excited when we were given the privilege of holding it, fed up of it during the run up due to constant advertising and moaning but now I’m hooked. The only time my finger has touched the remote is to flick from BBC one to BBC two or three, occasionally hitting that red button. Usually when it comes to sport you’ll find me switching off, so what is it about the ‘lympics (as I like to call it) that has reeled me in?
To begin with it was that Danny Boyle directed opening ceremony. I watched it at a friends’ house and to be honest we’d only really decided to watch it for a laugh. Big ceremony’s and cheesy celebrations aren’t really our thing but you have to get involved in these big moments in history, if only just to follow what my entire twitter timeline were tweeting about! As soon as it started though we were drawn in and all cynicism disappeared. Why did we ever doubt Danny Boyle? That powerful industrial revolution scene with that brilliant Underworld song and all the drums, the fiery Olympic rings, the projections, the music and of course the sketch with The Queen and James Bond. Even the monotonous introduction of all the athletes was made fun by Fiji being introduced to the arena to the music of the Bee Gees. This prompted a rhyming game of bands/artists to countries. The lighting of the flame was a nice touch too, symbolising the coming together of nations.
Paul Mcartney ruined it at the end with his predictable and out of tune rendition of Hey Jude but hey ho, lets keep things positive.
Cue the sports. I thought I might as well give it a go considering this is what the Olympics is actually about. Dipping in and out was my plan, a bit of cycling here, some diving there. But this was not the case. As I realised Team GB had a good chance of winning medals (slight glory hunting there I know) I watched events until the end, I picked up the rules and suddenly became an expert on all sports. Well, by my previous standards anyway. The fact I had sudden free range of Sky TV in the house added greatly to my new found obsession. With twenty four channels covering all the sports in full I found it very hard to drag myself away. When I was away I had to find other ways to keep up with everything. I followed Olympics related people on twitter, @TeamGB became invaluable, I had friends texting me whenever a medal was won and snuck glimpses at the action on any screens I walked past. In a way though, the more sports I watched the less about sports it became. I began to appreciate just how hard these individuals had worked to get here. I saw a nation getting behind them and I saw how much it meant to them. Interviews and profiles on the athletes proved them to be ordinary yet talented and inspiring people. I laughed, cried and got nervous for them all. “Inspire a generation” was the motto of London 2012 and it certainly seemed to. For two weeks at least the entire nation was supporting these people. At last, some icons young people can look up to rather than half naked, fake women or sex obsessed men. The closing ceremony seemed to undo this idea however, but as I said, let’s remain positive.
The Olympics has inspired me to get back into sports. Currently this just means getting back into cycling but I’d also like to join a basketball team again and have another go at canoeing. This might all be very optimistic considering I seem to live on the “C” diet; chips, chicken, chocolate, cheese and (just to ruin the “ch” thing I had going on) carbs. But it hasn’t just inspired me to do sports, it’s pushed me to have more of that get up and go attitude. London 2012 has also reminded me that if you’re passionate, determined and work hard enough you can really get somewhere. Okay so not every ending will involve gold but try and you could surprise yourself. Ah, I’ve gotten all deep. I’m going to sign off now with an enthusiastic “Bring on the Paralympics!”