11/8/2012 London Olympics 2012

What can I say but… absolutely awesome!!

Congratulations to all who competed for Team GB! The focus will now undoubtedly be on the medal winners but I would like to give praise, thanks and a really heartfelt well done to all Olympians. 

I despaired at hearing athletes apologise to friends and family when they felt they didn’t perform as well as they wanted - you are Olympians, you had to work hard to deserve selection, you put your heart into competing, wearing the Team GB uniform and representing your country - you all are amazing!!

There will inevitably follow debates and sweating for sports and athletes regarding future funding. This will be difficult for sports such as swimming where the medal tally didn’t match expectations but, if you analyse it, performance wasn’t bad. In Beijing, athletics was seen as the under-performers however investment did happen and performance improved. Whilst I am fairly sure swimming will be okay, I worry about the newer sports for example volleyball and handball. There will be no automatic entry to Rio like we had in London. What I would hope from the funding agencies is that they really think about legacy and inspiring the next generation. How many young people have watched and thought ‘I could do that’? Think of athletes like Helen Glover who was inspired to take up rowing after Beijing and won a gold medal in London!

Choosing to change careers in 2012 and work more in sport was a hard decision to make. I’d hoped that there would be more opportunity given the idea of the 2012 legacy. So far I am struggling to see increased investment but I am hopeful that I am at the beginning of the legacy and that increased investment, participation and desire to succeed will be forthcoming.

Finally, my Olympic experience – I was there! No luck with tickets but went to Hyde Park to see Alistair Brownlee win the gold in the triathlon! I also saw beach volleyball being played at Horse Guards Parade from the top of the London Eye! Being in London, just being part of the Olympics was an amazing experience. Have never seen London so happy, the atmosphere in the whole of London was amazing, everyone was in the Olympic spirit even the man at the incredibly expensive posh chocolate counter in Harrods who relayed with passion his experience of seeing Brazil play football the night before – I loved every minute!

JAN