What an amazing job they did

Aug 10


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Helen Whitten

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What an amazing job they did

Wow!  Is anyone else feeling pride in the achievements of Team GB?  I am not particularly into sport or athletics, nor even into being a spectator, but I was blown away by the number of medals we achieved and by watching the determination and skill of our young athletes.

Reading the press, one might be forgiven for imagining that all our young in this country are snowflakes – but no way.  These young people have come through hell and highwater to be in Tokyo, to perform and to win.

I hope one of the media channels does a documentary covering the life stories of some of these people.  I know that many have come through difficulties, have had to crowdfund their way through the competitions, have had broken bones, and gone through many set-backs in the course of their lives.  What a wonderful example of determination, discipline, motivation and skill. 

I would really like to know more about their journeys from childhood sports days to local then national competitions and on to the Olympics.  There’s a lesson for us all in this, in our various walks of life, I feel.

And it takes support – from parents, teachers, coaches, grandparents.  And sacrifice.  No-one can do this alone.

And the modesty and sheer joy of the winners was poignant to watch.  No bragging, just amazement and British understatement. A delight in having won, as if it happened ‘to’ them, rather than that they won through extraordinary effort.  From that amazing young girl on her BMX, and daring skateboarders, to equestrian riders of such precision and grace, at one with their horse, to swimmers, runners, cyclists, gymnasts, sailors and more, I am just so impressed.

This is going to be a short piece but it seems so important to take a moment to feel some pride in our achievements.  We don’t do it often in this country but watching the Olympics has made me feel that if these people are any kind of reflection of the young people in this country then we shall be in safer hands than I had imagined. There is more grit here than is spoken of on most days. Yet one knows that this grit exists also in our entrepreneurs and those who have been through so many different and difficult challenges over the last eighteen months of Covid.

I hope there is some general celebration of the efforts of our Olympic team, a moment of national pride in coming fourth in the league table against fierce competition.  Congratulations to them all, the winners, of course, but also to all those who were beaten at the post.  To have got to Tokyo at all is a huge achievement in itself.  Well done!


One Response

  1. Well said Helen, I agree with you, it was really quite joyous to witness such magnificent athletic performances day after day. It has been heart-warming to be able to take in regular doses of positivity for a change from the media ! GB’s huge investment in the training these sporting stars has certainly paid off.

    As the mother in law of a karate champion who was pipped to the post and didn’t get to go to Tokyo, our medal achievement as fourth nation in the world almost made up for his disappointment ! Looking forward to 2025 now

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