Few people around the globe (in the First World at least) could possibly have missed the fact that Brazil have been hosting the 2016 Olympics over the past two (and a bit) weeks. Personally, I have always been a keen follower of Athletics and, over the years, my Olympic interests have expanded to Rowing, Cycling, Swimming, Boxing and more. Ma and Pa FWL vividly remember when, as a young child, I would set my alarm and creep downstairs in the early hours of the morning to watch Daley Thompson, Sebastian Coe, Steve Cram, Linford Christie and others perform on the Olympic stage.
Fast forward to 2016 and Great Britain have just registered their most successful ever away games. They surpassed the medals tally of London 2012 and are the first ever nation in history to improve four years after hosting the games. What has been the secret? Hard work, dedication and an increase in National Lottery funding to enable our athletes to train full time and achieve their full potential. Long term investment….
Four time zones away across the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Athletes needed to acclimatise and the early signs were mixed with Geraint Thomas crashing in the Men’s Road Race but Adam Peaty smashing the world record in the heats of the 100m breaststroke in the pool and going on to break it again when winning Gold in the final.
In the water, we seem to have shone in Rio. Several medals in rowing, sailing, windsurfing, kayak and canoe…. Joe Clarke, Liam Heath and more names hit the headlines. Many British people won’t have heard these names before but now, the world knows who they are. Medals have been churned out on an industrial scale and we have overtaken China. At the time of writing, we have won 67 medals in 16 different sports [so, I clearly cannot mention them all, even the Gold medallists would make this blog three times too long!]
We (the British public) ‘went’ to Rio with no great expectation of our sportsmen and women. However, they went with “professional steeliness” said one BBC Commentator. They made history. Double double for Mo Farah, first team Gold with the unforgettable Maddie Hinch in the Hockey goal, the awesome foursome on the indoor cycling track…. and so much more. It’s tough when medals = funding but it certainly appears to be working.
Go well and be rewarded.
[A motto we live by at FWL.]