Olympics… It’s Just Not Good Enough

Well it’s not is it…? I have been riveted to my screen during this years Olympics, I have cheered and watched with my mouth wide open, stayed up until almost 4:00am watching the women’s marathon and Paula Radcliff’s excruciating completion of a race she was unprepared for. Watched as UK athlete’s and sporting hopefuls worked there buts of to put Great Britain just over a week into the games at 3 position of the medals tables, unable to believe that we are still on the front page and climbing.

British men's cycling team

So what is it that is not good enough? Well my husband and I and many of our friends have all posed the question….. “Why is it that other countries are able to achieve phenomenal success in sporting championships and we (Great Briton) are always watching the success go by?

Well we did discuss that maybe the reason that Chinese do well is because their government hold their parents captive and the lives of their family and themselves is at risk if they don’t perform. Or that the Americans know that it is all milk and honey when they get back home and they are truly celebrated. Whilst we had a laugh we all unanimously agreed that one this and one thing only makes the biggest difference and this is…… investment!

I felt ashamed and angered and I listened to Kate Read who ran the 10,000m who said that she had “No support, no physiotherapy and no lottery funding”. Sounds about right!!! There must be better investment into the success of our sporting teams, better facilities (stop selling of the leisure centres and land), better training (use those that can… Linford Christie is a great example), link sports to education (they do it in America.. if you don’t have the grades you can’t compete). It’s time we sorted this out. Too often programmes to engage new talent are under funded, lasting 6 months or a year or so and then they fizzle out and the talent that they were nurturing fizzles out too.

If we really want to compete on an international level then we need to look at

Purchase and Hunter taste gold

what is working well or other countries and model what they do, investing in the infrastructure that is required to produce quality, consistent altheletes. Maybe…just maybe this might be one of the many answers to helping resolve the youth crime and youth disengagement that we see on our streets today.

I take nothing at all away from the outstanding performances of the athletes I have eagerly watched and cheered on our screens, and yes I was willing both of the athletes who went after gymnastic bronze medalist Louis Smith to fall and I did laugh and jump when they did, Hell I wanted the boy to win a medal and he did!! I feel excited about the prospects of 2012…. but somethings got to change and I think that it might be that the powers that be take British sporting seriously and stop short changing those who work tireless to bring home the medals for their country!