The Paralympics closing ceremony brought this fantastic summer of sport to a close. Many of us will be left feeling blue rather than red white & blue, having been fired up with the Games since the Olympic torch lit our imaginations & began uniting a nation all those weeks ago. Olympians & Paralympians alike have made us cheer until we’re hoarse, cry with emotion & pack us with pride, excitement, awe & wonder.
London 2012 has been a historic event we’ll always remember & provided us with memories to tell future GB generations about. Seb Coe’s vision of ‘inspiring a nation’ as been achieved. As we celebrate Team GB’s massive success with their parade in the capital on Monday, we’re left not just with memories but thoughts about what our own personal best is.
Some of us may have been pushed to achieve their PB at school by an encouraging PE teacher, others may have cursed being cold on a bleak hockey pitch! Others may have tried their hand at a selection of sports, becoming a good standard at them all but not brilliant at any. Whilst watching athletes run, jump, play, throw, cycle, swim, row, it’s not hard to find yourself thinking either “how the hell do they do that?!” or “I wonder if I could do that?” (well at least give it a go!).
Some of the medallists had only taken up their sport recently; others had been competing since they were young. The long list of thank yous that the Paralympians in particular give when interviewed post achievements show that it’s not just their commitment but the belief, support & expertise around them that also push them on to achieve great things.
19 year old Jonnie Peacock’s awesome gold medal in the T4 100m sprint final with a 10.9 seconds was made even unbelievable when you consider Usain Bolt’s world record was 9.59 seconds. Jonnie’s personal disappointment that he’s didn’t run as fast as he wanted & couldn’t blame it on a head wind – when he’d just won gold at his first Games & hadn’t beaten the world record he’s set himself in the semi finals! – stated as he was, interviewed afterwards just shows the drive of a champion.
The London 2012 Games have not only inspired us, they’ve increased the status of sportswomen across the globe. Opened the door of acceptance & support for disabled people to compete on a centre stage & gain the support of a nation – a tenth of the UK’s population tuning in to watch Jonnie’s sprint. It’s restored a nation’s pride that we can put on the best event in the world & do it in style & lastly its lift our spirits from economic doldrums to having a renewed sense of passion & energy across the country. Sport at its very best does that.
It makes us cry, get frustrated, laugh, excel, support a team, become a team, challenge ourselves, be proud and passionate. Surely the least we can do now is let London 2012 live on. Challenge ourselves to reach our personal best, volunteer to help others achieve theirs. Matt Roberts, the UK’s top celebrity trainer, suggests to help us stay motivated we: “Find your body inspiration and place a picture of this individual in a location where you are constantly reminded of what you are trying to achieve.” With so many sports heroes to be inspired by from – David Weir, Laura Trott, Nicola Adams, Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmons… – chose one & pin them up.
They also had to start somewhere & look what they’ve achieved! So if you’re now a Games Geek who wants to get going, busy Mum who simply wants a smaller bum, or sporty sort who wants to reach that golden goal, now’s the time to cease the moment & get active or encourage others to do just that.
Be inspired by Team GB & do a deal with yourself to let the legacy live on & take your first steps to your personal best, it’s the least we can do for the commitment & pain Team GB went through to have our best Games ever & a thank you for all the pleasure, pride and passion they’ve instilled in us. London 2012 deservers to live on,