Thursday, 26 July 2012

My first (and hopefully only) #Olympics Blog post

Personally, I'm really looking forward to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

I enjoy watching sport, and the Olympics is one of the biggest and most prestigious sporting events in the world, so I'm expecting it to be good!  Not only this, but it allows me to watch some of my favourite sports which don't always get as much TV coverage as I might like - especially sailing, and table tennis.

However, a lot of the Olympic-related comments I'm seeing at this time are making me feel quite uncomfortable.  If Twitter is to be believed, the events at which which Great Britain really seems to excel are moaning, whinging and grumpiness - and, while I respect the fact that everyone has a right to their own opinion on the Olympics, I don't see why you wouldn't think that getting the chance to host the Games in the UK is a great opportunity.

Now, I'm not saying that the organisation of the Games couldn't have been done better, or that there aren't ways in which we could improve - but the blanket anti-Olympics, and anti-everything-to-do-with-Olympics attitude which some people seem to espouse has become very tiresome.

If you don't want to watch it on television, that's fine - you're perfectly at liberty to watch something else - but to suggest that the whole thing is a waste of time, and to make comments like "what right has the Government to spend money on this event?  I wasn't consulted!" (wait a minute - do you expect that the Government should ask you personally on every point of taxation or economic policy?  That's absurd!) is ridiculous, and gives Britain an image of bitterness and resentment which we can well do without.

Is that the impression we want to give our visitors from around the world this summer (be they athletes, trainers, support staff, spectators or tourists)?  That we don't care, we're not interested, and we wish they weren't here at all?  No, of course not.

Hosting the Olympics here in Britain is a very special opportunity - one which is unlikely to come around again in many people's lifetimes.  It should be a chance for us to celebrate the talent, hard work and expertise of all our home-grown sportsmen and women, in a huge range of different sporting disciplines, and to build bridges with other nations.  It should be a way to inspire more people (of all ages!) to take part in sports and exercise, at all levels.  And it's our opportunity, while the rest of the world is watching, to show everyone what Britain is really all about, and what a great country this truly is.

So, c'mon - let's not spoil it now with all this grumbling!

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