“They think it’s all over…….it is now”
And what was I saying in my last article about Usain Bolt?…….oh yes, prodigious, powerful, extraordinary and here’s another word for you………elegant. It might not necessarily be a word you would associate with a sprinter, but I think it’s very apt. For me, as a sprinter, he’s beyond superlatives, and now a living legend to boot He has been head and shoulders above the opposition in these games; but, make no mistake, the ‘young pretenders’ will also have their day in the limelight, and it may be soon.
Over a year ago, I chose his famous pose as the logo for my business because, for me, it was a representation of confidence, aspiration and achievement – all of which I try to encourage in my clients. And, no matter what happens next in his career, Usain Bolt will have been seen to be the personification of those words. And what a role model for a new Olympic generation he has turned out to be.
I was so disappointed that another prodigious and inspirational athlete, Paula Radcliffe, wasn’t able to compete in the marathon as she’d planned though. But ‘Wonder Woman’ will be back, and better than ever!!
These games were special because of so many wonderful athletes from so many nations, and far too many to name, but my highlights were: Mo Farah, Michael Phelps, Beth Tweddle, Sir Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, David Rudisha, Allyson Felix and Carmelita Jeter to name but a very few.
These games were also extra special for me because there probably won’t be another spectacular event such as this in the UK within my lifetime. I also think we have acquitted ourselves well as a nation in the full glare of the world’s attention. We amassed an impressive medal tally for such a small island; the organisation was seamless, the tireless volunteers were amazing, and the general joyfulness and bon ami of the occasion percolated through to our every-day lives.
These Olympics have also gladdened my heart as a Yorkshire- woman because, apparently, ‘God’s Own County’ was the most successful producer of medal winning talent in these British Isles – how wonderful. And, indeed, a pioneering young lady from Leeds takes my prize for the biggest understatement made in any interview I watched during the games – Nicola Adams, who won the first Olympic women’s boxing gold medal in history, said “it really made my day”.
So, now we can look forward to the Paralympics and watch and marvel once again at the dedication and expertise of these wonderful people as they compete at the pinnacle of their sport. And we can celebrate their achievements and commiserate when things don’t quite go according to plan. And I will sit and marvel, as I always do, at the self-belief and dedication required by any athlete to even be able to compete at an Olympics let alone win a medal.
Olympians, you are in a league of your own in elite sport, and I look forward to 4 years’ time in Rio when you will shine once again on the finest of world stages.