Like many people, I was completely hooked on the Olympic coverage and when it ended I felt quite bereft and wondered what I could then watch as the rest of TV seemed really dull. Before the games began, I was quite convinced I wouldn’t be interested in watching as I had seen- and been irritated by- a whole host of adverts featuring Olympic athletes. I just couldn’t believe that sporting prowess was dependent on what your mum washed your clothes in or what shampoo you used!
However, once the games got going, I was completely enthralled. I thought the commentating was pretty good- often explaining technicalities or strategies of sports I knew little about and thereby adding to the interest.
My only complaint would have been that there was not enough coverage of the equestrian events! And I would like to throw down a challenge here- is there another sport where men and women compete on an equal basis (both horse and rider) and where gold medals can be won by people even older than me?!
Less frivolously, I was really impressed by the feeling of team support throughout the games. Every British sportsperson was cheered to the hilt and most of them mentioned the effect of that level of support. Medal winners in the team events readily and regularly acknowledged their teammates and back-up support and saw the medals as belonging equally to them all . Even in the individual events there was clear evidence that athletes had trained and were working as a team – often transcending borders- witness Mo Farah and his American mate-Galen Rupp. It was heartening to see the genuine delight for fellow athletes winning their event- Jessica Ennis is obviously a firm favourite amongst her fellow heptathletes.
For me, this evidence of pride in your team- whether it was your national team, your particular sports team or the international team who shared your event-was probably the best aspect of the games.
You have by now no doubt seen where this is going- an allegory of life in school. We are a community of many teams- year groups, classes, house groups, staff teams, parent forums, cluster schools and many more. At our best we support each other, train together, pool our strengths and resources, encourage each other, delight in our successes and cheer each other on. And if in so doing we derive a fraction of the pleasure shown by those athletes then we are surely all winners.
Here’s to a great year for Team Humbie and Saltoun.