“There is something in the Olympics, indefinable, springing from the soul, that must be preserved.” - Chris Brasher CBE (British athlete, sports journalist and co-founder of the London Marathon who sadly died in 2003 before he could witness the spectacle that is the 2012 London Olympics)
I agree – have you ever heard or seen the country so happy? I listened to the Jeremy Vine show, on BBC R2 yesterday, discussing the success of these Olympic games and for once everyone was phoning in such positive messages, some were even admitting that they had been sceptical about the Games before they began and worried about the effect it would have on everyone and now they cannot get enough of it all.
People thought our volunteers would be grumpy compared to Beijing 2008 where the Chinese could not have been more helpful but now everyone is saying how friendly and accommodating they all are which appears to be so surprising to the world. Winning helps, I agree, but then a lot of people are commenting on the interviews with our losing sportsmen who have gained so much respect from all of us with their handling of the loss and the way they speak to the interviewer and always apologise to the public for letting them down. This is not necessary as losing is a part of sport and we respect them for all their hard work and determination and the way they conduct themselves.
For a country whose religion is football it is good to see people recognising that our footballers are overpaid, underachieving sportsmen whose behaviour on and off the pitch can no longer be admired or accepted. So Ellie I think I can understand how you felt when you went to the Fair as it was grubby, money grabbing and not at all respectful to the paying public, everything that a professional footballer is. Whatever job one does it can always be done with a smile, a smile costs nothing.
I think there is going to be a rush amongst our young to join athletics, rowing, cycling, gymnastic clubs etc and so we must make that happen as whatever happens after the Games this must be the Legacy. Get kids off the street and playing sport, respecting their bodies and showing them that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
Having said all of this I tried to imagine what Olympic sport I could do (3 weeks in Rio is quite appealing) and the only one I could think of is hammer throwing as it did not seem to involve getting the unbelievable six pack that all the other sports require; a little muffin top goes a long way in this sport. Grace feels she is on her way to being a champion Sumo Wrestler, probably for the same physical reasons as me. However I notice that there are some Olympic sports that have been discontinued such as the Swimming Obstacle Race, Rope Climbing, Underwater Swimming Race and CROQUET!! I reckon we should campaign for the latter to be re-instated as an Olympic sport; rugby and golf are being re-introduced in 2016 in Rio. I can just imagine a CountryWives Croquet team, nothing too physical, not dependant on strict dieting, abstaining from sex, well we know that is easy!!
So girls get that Brazilian wax booked now and, as the headquarters for the English Croquet Association are in Cheltenham no excuses Ellie, and let’s get training!!
Off to get my mallets out of the garden shed now…..ANNABEL x
P.S. Grace will have no problem with the position in the picture, she’s a Yoga pro!