XO

12 things from #London2012

The Olympics have come and sadly gone, we all woke up this morning with major withdrawal symptoms that the whole nation wouldn’t be swept up in this euphoria of collectively raising our voices to cheer on the athletes, whether they were winning or competing for the first time. A sense of togetherness like no other. History was made, records were broken and set, the underdog rose to great acclaim, women made monumental history and the Spice Girls; what glory!…Yes it was London at its very best.

Besides the games itself, the fanfare, the showmanship of the athletes and the support of the nation and the world as a whole, there was an underlying theme of inspiration and London 2012 Olympics was right on time; a time when we all needed a lift from the doldrum of global economy, crime, death, war…we needed something to let us know that as one, we are stronger than any other force, united we stand firm, and more than anything, it gave us hope for the future of the next generation, Hope  in spades.

1. Women;

It was said that this was very much GirlPower Olympics because the girls came, fought and they gave it all they had. We made history. Finally, women we can all look up to, who are not just famous for the sake of being famous but women who have achieved their life’s ambition or are just starting out. They gave us all a reason to aspire for greatness, with essence. Jessica Ennis, Christine ohuruogu, Victoria Pendelton, Laura Trott, Katherine Grainger, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Gaby Douglas…

For the first time in Olympic history all participating countries had women in their line up and the best moment, in my opinion, was the cheering of Sarah Attah the Saudi Arabian 800m athlete as she finished in last place; it was such a moment that her position didn’t come to matter.

2. Inspiration;

The athletes inspired us; Michael Phelps the 27 year old, who is now and will forever be known the Greatest olympian of our time, he returned and shut the doubters up with his superb performance in the pool. 22 medals, 18 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze and all this before he turned 30.

Mo Farrah; a black, muslim, asylum seeker in the UK, now two time gold medalist in 10,000m and 5,000m race. Mo ran the race of his life, we stood up and paid respect to his sheer grit and determination. It takes a person of special character to do what he did with such focus and never once believing that he couldn’t. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it and you believe in yourself.

Oscar Pistorius; a double leg amputee who competed with able bodied men…his sporting motto is; “you are not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.” I dare you not to be inspired by him.

3. Volunteers;

They made the games for everybody, giving of their time and ability to ensure this went off with a bang, no matter where they were stationed, be it in Hyde Park, Greenwich, Olympic Park, whatever role they played…for them it was the honour of being a part of the games and they deserve all our thanks. Volunteer your time when you can, because you just never know whose life you touch or how you effect change. Thank You.

4. The Armed Forces;

In the diabolically shambolically epic failures of GS4, the men and women of the armed forces were drafted in to save the day and they did. They put their lives on the line protecting ours and safeguarding our freedom. And here they came for Queen and Country, during the games, no qualms or questions asked. we say; thank you.

SUCK ON THAT GS4.

5. Community;

Never has there been such a feeling of community in London as was apparent during the Olympics, it felt like one big global village of abundant love, from the athlete to the spectator, the volunteer to the crowd, everyone was bursting with warmth, everywhere you went was an air of camaraderie; strangers, friends, competitors… It is a good time to be in London and I hope this feeling lingers on and we build on it.

6. British Fashion;

#TeamGB were the best dressed athletes to get on the podium, I may be biased but damn! they looked so good, Stella McCartney did the team proud.

The Opening Ceremony showed the talents of young British designers like Michael Van Der Ham, Emile Sande in Jonathan Saunders, and the closing ceremony continued in the same vain with the super models Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Jourdan Dunn, Georgia Jagger etc. taking to the stage dressed in the best of British fashion; Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Burberry…whilst Fashion by David Bowie rocked out.

7. The Young;

Youths of all cultures, backgrounds, race, class…in our society were inspired by these games. Young minds challenged brought on by the sight of Jessica Ennis, Gabby Douglas, Tom Daley etc. excelling in their sport and with such magnificence. Inspiration born of admiration. And this is where the government can step in make the change needed. We need more activity in our schools, extra curricular activities, inter house and inter school competition, get them competing and striving for greatness. If you engage a child’s mind in an active and competitive way, they will only aspire for greater things as has been proven by our athletes. Here is hoping that the government is listening to the voices of Dame Kelly Holmes, Peirs Morgan etc, who are calling for compulsory physical activity of at least two hours week to be included in the curriculum and let’s face it guys, two hours a week is not a lot considering that much and more is wasted on computer games…

8. Sportsmanship;

The level of love and mutual respect between athletes is another thing that was a joy to witness; Mo Farrah and Usain Bolt on the podium doing the Mobot and Lightening bolt, admiration and support of the American swim team towards Michael Phelps, the respect and honour shown to Oscar Pistorius as he became the first double leg amputee to compete in the Olympics…it brought class and decency back to sports in general and here’s hoping that some *ahem the premier league footballers* will learn from this, imbibe it and stamp out the thuggish culture that can sometimes colour football.

9. Torch Relay;

This was possibly one of the most emotional part of the games  because it included not just famous people, but ordinary people chosen from within their community, from all works of life, young and old, from all corners of the United Kingdom, coming together to pass on this great tradition and in a way so unique it inspired the nation with a sense of togetherness.

10. Music;

British Music is as rich as it is vibrant and cool and fun and unique; the Pet Shop Boys, Kaiser Chiefs, Dizzee Rascal, Soul II Soul, The BeeGees, Taio Cruz…great hits in all genre, a wealth of musical history from the streets to grunge, pop, soul…a perfect mash up of one good old British party. It was all celebrated with the quintessential British pump and pageantry.

11. London;

As a whole is much greater than the sum of its part, but in parts it still holds up its own. The atmosphere in London was electric and the vibe, magic. A truly iconic cosmopolitan city that came alive and showed just what makes it one the best, if not the best, cities on earth, as we played host to the world. Big Up London. Massive.

12. GIRLPOWER;

THE SPICE GIRLS RULE!!! #thatisall

And now for the Paralympics where we are sure to be astonished and inspired all over again…