So the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio are over, the athletes are home, the equipment placed in storage and the medals displayed.
What a spectacular event and what an inspiration to every one who watched. I for one am now lost with what to watch on the television!
Back in 2012 I worked at the London Olympics, and fondly recall watching the games on the smallest television while sat in a car park in south London. This time around I was happy that I could watch from my living room with Chelsea and Bobby beside me.
I am a massive sports fan, I used to think that football was the only sport in the world, however over the years I have come to enjoy watching anything but football and I now appreciate all aspects of sport and will try anything, something I hope rubs off on Bobby.
I am grateful for the vast coverage over all of the disciplines that we got to watch, and am ecstatic with Bobby’s enthusiasm towards the variety of sport on offer, even Chelsea was into it! (Which is rare, as in her words; “I don’t do sport”) Anyway, we all sat together one evening and watched the GB women play in the Rugby 7s, before this Bobby had just wanted to watch Nick Jr or fail videos on YouTube, (now they are funny!) It was from that moment he was hooked, and like me began to enjoy everything. He would start his Team GB chanting at regular intervals and would celebrate when we won medals as if he was out there in the stadium. He even went as far as setting up his own events and challenging me
The spirit of the games and our team was felt through the TV and we were all really willing them through, from Joe Clark in the canoe slalom, and Nicola Adams in the Boxing ring to Kenny and Trott in the velodrome. We were watching, Bobby was watching.
It’s that point for which I am most grateful to all of the athletes displaying their immense talent. Bobby was watching. An impressionable 5 year old who already has pride in himself and has already begun his sporting journey, with an inherited competitive mindset. Every single athlete that we encountered showed impeccable sportsmanship, passion, pride, and before anything else unfathomable talent. Things we could do a little more of.
The games enabled Bobby to ask questions he wouldn’t have ever thought to, one of which being – “Who are they shouting at when they hit the ball?” – Tennis. They showed him it’s okay to finish second, third, even last, they also showed him how to be a humble winner.
So what do we do now? Go back to working our mundane jobs, or watch re-runs of The Simpsons? Well, the Paralympics will be beginning in September, so we can go through it all again side by side with some of the most inspirational people in the world. As for Bobby, we will still offer him a wide variety of sports, and encourage him to try and just do his best, at the end of the day practice makes perfect! Which ever sport or activity he chooses to take part in, I know we will be right behind him, If it means I have to learn how to do a triple back somersault with pike then so be it!
For me sport is the one thing in this world that unites us all, whether it’s a team sport or individual we are all in it together, if you hate sport then there are people who also hate sport so you can unite with them.
I think sports in general should be the foundations on which we teach our children, teaching them life skills, keeping them active, encouraging them to succeed, and being gracious in defeat. All things they will need as a base to build their lives from.
You won’t find a better example of this than watching Olympians in action.
Just remember we are possibly raising a future generation of little Olympians.