Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shock! Horror! I support the Olympic Games!

If cynical wingeing was an Olympic sport, I think we Brits would probably win Gold, Silver and Bronze without breaking a sweat.

As we've been building up to London 2012, there has been a seemingly co-ordinated effort across the media to deride everything about the games – from transport plans to torch carrying to sponsor restrictions, anything is fair game. I get the sense that most people don't want the Olympics to happen because it's a waste of money, time and effort. We've all got better things to do.

I for one don't quite feel that way.

I know it's not been plain sailing to get to this point. Yes, it's cost a lot of money. Yes, stupid decisions have been made. Yes, it's going to inconvenience a whole lot of weary London travellers.

But – as the games are nearly upon us (and I can't imagine LOCOG suddenly deciding to pull the plug at this stage) surely we might as well just embrace the ideals of the event and – heck – enjoy it? It's going to happen whether we like it or not so rather than push against it why not just go with the flow?

Let's get some perspective and remember that Coke sponsors most sporting events (hmm – we don't see many people protesting about that), an event on this scale is certain to witness the odd cock-up and that it'll all be over soon anyway.

The Olympics are a celebration of human endurance, stamina and willpower. Sportsmen and women across the globe are convening on our capital city after years of training and preparation. For some, it will be the pinnacle of their career. For others it will be the greatest disappointment in their lives. It is a huge risk to take part, but given the rewards it is an understandable risk. Basically, what I'm saying is that, in spite of sponsorship by burger restaurants and roads painted with Olympic rings, aren't the Olympic principles a good thing to support? Isn't it a good thing that people choose to become sporting champions? By demonstrating the huge capacity of the human spirit, they inspire others to make more of their lives. Isn't that a worthy thing?

I'm not saying we ignore instances of injustice or wrongdoing. On the contrary – those things should be identified and brought to light. I'm just saying we should focus on the positives as well.

So I'll be there in Cardiff next week cheering on the football. Why not join me and show the world we're not a bunch of grumpy gits after all?

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