Monday, 13 August 2012

Building on Olympic success

The Olympic Games were a terrific success from the moment London 2012 started with the spectacular opening ceremony. Who would have guessed that Her Majesty the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee Year would become the latest ‘Bond girl’? But that just epitomised the British sense of fun, joining in and being a good sport, which is part of the uniqueness of the UK, and which was so well captured during the opening ceremony.

After a slow start on the medal front, like a runner holding back at the beginning of a race, Team GB sped to the fore and well surpassed itself coming in third position for medals. It was an amazing feat for all our competitors. Just to qualify meant performing to an extremely high standard and years of dedication, determination, and self-discipline.

For those who won medals, the performances have been outstanding and our champions have truly demonstrated their determination to excel and win in their particular sport.

Although like many other countries, the UK is in difficult economic times, it is uniquely British that, when it comes to the chips being down, we rise to the occasion and exceed expectations - something we have demonstrated as a nation over the centuries in many ways and one reason I am proud to be British.

Now the show is over, and what a show it was, we must build on what has been achieved in so many ways, by so many.

From the Olympic Village being the most sustainable and completed on time and on budget, to the organisation, despite all the doubters, and the fantastic army of volunteers who have rightly been recognised for being so helpful and friendly. They were great ambassadors for the UK. Then, of course, there were the competitors and their supporting teams of trainers, coaches, physios - the list goes on.

There is rightly much talk of the legacy, or building on the tremendous success and here is an important role for politicians national and local.

We need to ensure that future generations can develop their talent and that there are well trained professionals and volunteers to support, guide and help them to achieve and excel.

We must encourage and support that wonderful army of volunteers, and help businesses and tourism to grow.

Working together building on the success provided by so many others is the way forward, and we must make sure we do not drop the baton.

Finally, the excitement is not quite over.

Next up are the Paralympics, when we will all, I am sure, salute the very special achievements of sportsmen and women who will be competing against all the odds.

I hope these games will also capture the public imagination.

Best wishes,


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