Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Inspire a generation

OK...so I can't quite let it go...I will I promise.

The theme of the Games was 'Inspire a generation' and so I hope it does...young people inspired to take up a sport, compete and win.  It's a great ideal.  For me though the line should...and does mean more than that...our athletes have shown that they can compete and win through their dedication and commitment.  They have battled fairly and won well.  They played within the rules.  They won without cheating.  Perhaps this is a lesson for the politicians and bankers who have offered nothing to inspire us these many years.  Now they should step up to the mark and earn their bronze, silver and gold by playing fairly, squarely and in good humour.

We managed an evening in the Stadium last week, so got to see Usain Bolt in the semis, and a raft of other excellent races including the women's 200m.  By a remarkable coincidence, we were seated in the area where we used to eat our lunches during rehearsals...and now understand why hot chocolate came off the drinks menu - if you look down, there are stains on the terraces which just will not go away.  I made The Cat's Mother walk from one end of the Park to the other on the promise it was just twenty minutes.  Well it always seemed that way when we moved from our 'holding area' to the Stadium.  Forty minutes later we were approaching the far end of the Park - good job she was in good humour!

On Sunday The Boy and I set off to Hadleigh where the Mountain Biking was taking place.  It was a brilliantly sunny day, and we've come back well tanned.  It was also a real treat to see the course, especially as in the next 18 months it will be opened up to the public and we hope to have a ride around - once, rather than the seven times the athletes did...it is rather a long way with some serious climbs to negotiate.  Unlike the stadium where, to be honest, all the action was a long way away so you spent the time soaking up the atmosphere and watching the screens, you were so close to the course you could touch the cyclists as they screeched past.  So we were right in the action...it was truly exciting and impressive to see the amount of effort these guys put in...they went up the hills at the speed I would go down them.  Impressive and inspiring.

Sunday night I met up with some of my fellow cast at a pub in Soho to watch the closing ceremony....it seemed a bit slow to get going and there were some ropey old performances, and some ropey old performers...but quite fun, especially as the drink began to flow!  And of course it was wonderful to see everyone again...like me everyone had been living in a bit of a dream-like state.  It seemed an eternity since the Opening Ceremony so much had happened, but it felt there was a bond that will last long into the future.

And that should have been the end of our Olympic experience...except that last night we went to the well timed stage performance Chariots of Fire.  A brilliant performance with superb staging.  The acting was great..although there were questions about whether they struggled over their lines sometimes.  And confusingly, the Vangelis soundtrack simply conjured up images of Rowan Atkinson tapping distractedly on the keyboard.