A few people are quite down on the Olympics, they cost too much, they are over hyped, they are…. Well I for one don’t care about the cost, I love the hype and for the last 37 years of my life I have loved everytime the Games has occurred. Whilst never a cutting edge sportsmans, many of my early heros were Olympic athletes, and not neccessarily champions either.
The reason why is that whilst you can watch world championships in a variety of sports, the Olympics has always seemed more important to the athletes, like the world championships of championship. As such the Olympic Motto runs true, Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. Dream are made and lost, and real drama unfolds in front of your eyes.
I remember Daley Thompson snapping his pole vault, Paula Radcliffe’s emotional crumbling after an injury made her drop out of both the marathon and 10000 metres in the 2004 Athens, the amazing feats of the British Cycling team in Bejing, the rowing machine that is Steve Redgrave especially winning his fourth and 5th medals. The shock on Dame Kelly Holmes face as she crossed the line in first placed and the few seconds she waited patiently to see if she was indeed the winner. Those are just a few of the british moments I remember.
When you include the other countries, then in the last Olympics seeing Osain Bolt break the world record in the 100 metres when he stopped running about 10m short of the line. The thorpeedo winning 8 medals, a perfect 10 in the gymanstics or diving.
Everyone who enters is a hero, and I just can’t wait to see those that dig deep and win the mental game of their sport. However the Olymipcs won’t be the Olympics unless there were valiant losers, the athletes who choke under the pressure or try too hard and pull up injured. There was an american gymnast many years ago, I remember vividly, she injured herself on a vault. However she had to make another vault to win, and despite injury she lined up. Sprinted down the runway and absolutely nailed her last vault. Landing essentially on only one leg having basically torn ligaments in her legs in the previous vault, in tears she was carried off.
All in all for me its about watch the bravest and most talented people in their sports push themselves to the very limit and occassional beyond. As a climber I like that, in fact I love it. Thats is why I have climbed to my limit on occassions to win the mental and physical challenges to succeed.
Citius, Altius, Fortius