Many of us baulked when we heard of the cost of staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the UK. Yet even the non-sporting lovers among us would surely agree that last summer we witnessed a cultural coming together that extended off the sporting arena and into the very fabric of our society.
It is hard to believe that the Olympics were a year ago and it has been wonderful to see the stadium alive again, full to the brim hosting the Anniversary Games.
Sport has that ability to bring us together like no other event. I’m not speaking about the tribal angst when two say football teams face-off. Rather we had a united nation cheering on yes the medallists and yes the members of the Great Briton team but also those competitors from other nations. It was a true Olympic spirit.
Of course, it meant surely that we were due to a golden hangover of epic proportions. Not so!
Much has been made of the legacy of the Olympic Games both financially and sporting. Accounting firm Grant Thornton have predicted the long-term financial gain for us as a country could be as high as $65 billion. I leave the accounting to greater minds but surely any sporting hangover has been evaporated with recent sporting prowess.
Reminiscent of that famous Saturday in the Olympic stadium we’ve enjoyed a wave of success.
The British Lions rugby team travelled down-under and took on the Wallabies. After two narrowly fought games with honours, even the two rivals faced off in the series decider. The British Lions crushed the Wallabies by a staggering 41-16 scoreline. Warren Gatland’s would return home triumphant and assured bragging rights over their rivals.
Andy Murray became the first British man in 77 years to become Wimbledon champion and erase the disappointment of last year. Literally, the nation held a collective breath, hoping, praying and waiting. Surely this was ‘our’ time? And so it was! As Murray saw Djokovic’s return sail out of the court he let out a roar that became a crescendo, across Centre Court, through to Number 1 Court and Henman Hill reaching lounges and pubs across the country. Andy Murray could take his place alongside Fred Perry.
Chris Froome won Britain its second Tour de France in a row for Team Sky. This was so refreshing amidst the ugliness of the doping scandal surrounding Lance Armstrong to see such a dedicated athlete wear the yellow jersey. It cannot have been easy for Froome coming in the wake of last years success by Bradley Wiggins.
And of course, we have the Ashes. The English cricket team has beaten arch-rivals Australia in the first two tests of the storied Ashes. Of course, with sport, there are never any certainties but we wait to see, and hope that we win the third test of five matches – could we claim a clean sweep. By the end of August, all be revealed.
Of course just in time for the football season to begin!
Until next time…