Last week athletes returned to the Olympic Stadium to take part in the anniversary games and celebrate the legacy of the 2012. A year later, then, what did the Olympics teach us?
1) All sport is cool
The London Olympics gave ‘uncool’ sports a chance. People scrabbled to get tickets to just about anything and, if that failed, watched it on TV. Even I was inspired, with very short lived dreams of becoming an Olympic rower. That was before I realised I’d have to train at 5 in the morning. Still, in January 2013 a Radio 5 Live poll reported that 1 in 5 people claimed to have been inspired to play sport by the London Olympics.
2) Being British isn’t bad at all
I have never been remotely patriotic, in many cases I have cringed at the behaviour of some of our most famous Britons and I honestly expected the Olympics to be no exception. How wonderful it was, then, to see those weeks unfold and feel an immense pride in Britain.
3) Danny Boyle is a genius
After all the gripes and moans about the cost and the inconvenience of the games, it was the opening ceremony, thought up by Danny Boyle, which inspired this country and convinced them that having the Olympics wasn’t so bad after all.
4) Usain Bolt’s ego has no limits, but we can’t help but like him
Undoubtedly the coolest man in athletics, Bolt was great entertainment on and off the track. He arrived at the Anniversary Games on a rocket (yes, really) and later went on to win the 100 metres. The crowds embraced every minute of seeing arguably the greatest athletes ever, just as they had done a year before.
5) It’s not all about the money
In the lead up to the games there was forever the figure of £9 billion being thrown around. It was the cause of many people’s opposition and dissatisfaction with the games being held in London. However, a BBC poll conducted recently found that 74% of people would be happy with having the games in Britain again despite the cost. Clearly, the British public felt the return made the expenditure worthwhile.
Photo: Jon Blathwayt (Flickr)