Monday, 13 August 2012

The Olympic Legacy ...

It's the day after the fortnight before and the Olympics have packed their bags, left a "Thank-you-for-having-us" note on the hall table and gone home. They probably even left a big tip, because it was THAT good.

Yes, the Olympics were fantastic, genuinely inspirational. We were, as a nation, in it together and we made ourselves proud, even those of us whose entire contribution was sitting at home watching Our Team give their all in Herculean battles for gold, silver or bronze. 

We lived every pull, every push, every stroke, rotation, punch, kick, flail and thwack with our Olympian athletes.When Mo Farah crossed the finish line of the 10,000 metres I, personally, had exerted myself so much cheering him on I was more out of breath than he was. Then again I HAD already just done the 800 metres with Jessica Ennis and knocked out a medal winning long jump with Greg Rutherford, so .. you know.

But what do we do now the party's over? Do we HAVE to go back to those times BO (Before Olympics) when the news was all doom, gloom and David bloody Cameron? I haven't even had a glimpse of the Daily Mail website for the past two weeks now and, I don't mind telling you, I feel a better person for it.

And the Olympics should leave some kind of lasting legacy because for once we were cheering on real heroes. Real people doing hard, demanding and sometimes impossible things to the very best of their ability. We weren't judging them on looks or colour or weight either, but on what they had to give and how they gave it. And I like that in a country.

So I think as part of our Olympic legacy, we should give the entire country a bit of a make-over. 

Of course The Queen can stay because well, she IS the Queen AND she's best mates with James Bond too now. Who doesn't want that in a head of state?

And we'll keep Boris, because everybody loves Boris Johnson and he is, after all, a politician of sorts. He probably knows all there is to know about which handshake to use and he can talk utter bollocks at times and what else do you need in a politician? All the rest, well. Do we need them? Really?

There's going to be a whole shed-load of Olympians with time on their hands now. All of them dedicated and committed. All of them prepared to work hard and then harder still to achieve their goal. All of them have surmounted and beaten obstacles in their way, whether it be financial, emotional or physical, and not allowed themselves to give in.

There were 541 members of TeamGB 2012 and there are 650 members of the House of Commons, we could just do a straight swap to be honest and call it quits. There'd even be more room to sit down.

And we'll keep Clare Balding, because we'll need someone to keep everyone in check and to provide a shoulder to cry on when, inevitably, Bradley Wiggins and Ben Ainslie fall out about the whether to spend the ministry of defence budget on bicycles or boats when we ALL know they should just have asked Peter Wilson instead *tuts.* We won't make her wear a Head Girl uniform though, except on state occasions.

And we should just ban football altogether, but not David Beckham who can move into the newly revamped House of Lords with Posh and all the kids. There'll be granny flats too for Lord Coe and Sir Steve Redgrave.

AND, finally, utterly and conclusively we should bring back Grandstand and a World of Sport on Saturday afternoons on real, proper, everybody-can-get-it television. We should be allowed to revel in, enjoy and appreciate all the, so-called, minority sports that really, every four years, prove not to be so minority anymore.

Show us show-jumping, eventing and dressage. Show us swimming and diving, canoeing, kayaking, rowing. Show us the running and racing and cycling and biking and shooting and boxing and gymnastics and judo-ing and everything-ing. Goddamn it, SHOW US THE SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING.... and not just once every four years but every Saturday afternoon.

Make it accessible, make it seen and people will look for it and seek it out. Every four years, someone somewhere is sparked enough by what they've seen happen in an Olympic arena to start chasing their own Olympic dream. Imagine how many people might also light the spark, if these things were on every single week...


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