[ so·lil·o·quy – the act of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers ]
Twelve months ago we watched in wonder and awe at the achievements of a host of national and international sportsmen and women at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The likes of Jessica Ennis, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford, Sally Pearson, Nicola Adams, Jason Kenny, Victoria Pendleton, Michael Phelps, Jade Jones, and so many others, stood on that podium having spent years training to be at their best during that two weeks.
I was completely taken in by the whole thing. I was glued to the television. The torch relay, naturally, had me hooked. The anticipation of the opening ceremony and then the spectacle itself made me grin I enjoyed it so much. The two weeks of morning-til-night sport coverage was fantastic (and I learnt a lot about sports I’ve never tried). The endless video montages that the BBC do so well made me feel emotional. And the number of documentaries since the Games that go over the footage and achievements have reminded me what happened and helped me re-live all the excitement.
One year on and we are being asked the inevitable questions – has hosting the Olympic Games in Great Britain lived up to the promise of being an inspiration? Has it provided a legacy?
To be honest I think it’s way too early to talk about legacy, which is a very long term thing. That is something that relies on money being spent in the right places and people making a commitment to Sport over the next few years.
But inspiration is different, it is something that can be instant. Inspiration is a feeling, a spark, a fire – it is the thing that makes us decide to do something, motivates us to learn or develop, is the reason we make particular decisions. And it is possible to see already that so many people were inspired by London 2012 – whether it be to get more active, take up a new sport, take an existing sport to the next level, or other related things like becoming a volunteer, a coach, and a whole load of other things.
Of course the problem with inspiration is not that we feel it, it is that we have to decide to do something with it. It is no good being inspired by London 2012 but then continuing as you are. You’ll never be an elite athlete if you sit on the sofa all day. You’ll never be successful at anything if you don’t make an effort. You actually have to use that inspiration to make something happen. Whether it is sport related or not – you get out what you put in – so get on with it!
Life is all about the journey. Act on your inspiration.