I don't really get this thread....... What is the point in competing at sport on an elite platform unless it is to win?? Why would you spend 4 years training and following diet plans etc etc if not to win? Surely winning is about being the best athlete and not about being judged on your personality?
For me, the olympics and paralympics has given me a whole new world of motivation and makes me proud of our athletes. I have nothing but respect for their dedication and it has certainly put my achy muscles after a poxy little run (by comparison) into perspective.
Sorry Beth but it’s not about the athletes and their quest to win… Of course they want to win and their efforts should be rewarded in terms of accolade and celebration. It’s about how “the nation” including the media respond to this.
If you remember Atlanta and LA before that there was a huge amount of criticism of the US and their nationalistic approach to wining and coverage. They organised it around their TV stations and didn’t even show races where there was no US interest. There has been similar criticism of the BBC and their coverage and focus on Team GB athletes. I’m sure that there of loads of contrary examples of fair play and celebration of other athletes and nations but in my opinion we have become more like the US and that makes me uncomfortable.
So uknick you would rather we return our rightful status of 'plucky little losers' and leave the winning to others.
Possibly - I can't really assess the consequences of what has happened yet and whether it is a positive or negative force!
I do remember 1976 and the single bronze medal by Brendon Foster - that wasn't much fun.. and I really admire and celebrate what Dave Brailsford had done with the cycling team and likewise in the rowing - superb athletes...
So many non British athletes at the Olympics stated that they loved the crowd because they cheered for everyone and not just the home nation
I just feel a line has been crossed that's all!
A colleague who attended on Monday said that every time a British athlete came out into the statium the place erupted and went wild irrespective of their ability i.e. ranking and likelihood of doing well in their event! Is that healthy and respectful?
I don’t know whether you saw the drama Bertie and Dickie on the BBC recently – it was a true story about two oarsman winning a gold medal in the double skulls in the 1948 Olympics starring Matt Smith and Sam Hoare and portraying Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell.
I found it interesting as it portrayed the last bastion of amateur sport and the tussle between Bertie and his father Charles (who also won an Olympic gold medal) and his view on “fair play” amateur sport which to an extent they were challenging….
Anyway I have just felt that I have witnessed (am witnessing) a nation in raptures over Team GB rather than really appreciating sport for its own sake…
I guess to an extent the answer will be in the legacy?