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Just Four Years to Go
by Clint Wayne
2008-08-24 09:15:07
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As the immensely encapsulating Beijing Olympics draw to a close there is a real sense of anticipation and feelgood factor presently sweeping Great Britain as the 2012 London Games become a step nearer.

This current excitement can be solidly laid at the feet of our successful ‘Team GB’ which has excelled beyond our wildest dreams and gone way beyond even the countries media’s tough expectations with its impressive record medal haul since 1908.

This success has been solely due to the Lottery funding, now in its 14th year that has driven a London Double-Decker Bus through a previous stagnant amateur bureaucratic system. Instead of funding broad sporting facilities across the country funding has been individually channelled directly to the outstanding sportsmen and women in their field with great success.

At a time when British humour was assuming that to increase our chances of winning gold medals in 2012 we would have to introduce ‘New’ British type Olympic competitions such as ‘Queuing Uphill’, ‘Running for a Bus with an Umbrella’ and ‘Synchronised Binge Drinking’ it has been hugely heart-warming to realise we can for a short time at least hold our heads above the ‘sporting parapet’ instead of having to hide away from our typical sporting failure.

We have course had our past moments to celebrate notably Football’s 1966 and Rugby’s 2004 World Cup successes plus the occasional ‘Ashes’ Cricket wins over the competitive Aussies but it is the frustrating inability to build on that success that still remains totally unacceptable. Through our athletes' achievements in Beijing we have been given yet another chance which we as a nation must not squander because if we for one moment through smugness alone decide we have reached that sporting utopia then in four years time our ambitious hopes will once again crash as other nations match and improve on our own successful preparations.

Before the Beijing Games opened our government had the absolute nerve to set our athletes a medal target as they are under some typical political illusion that the Lottery Money is their funding yet we all know it is solely the British Public that buys the tickets. 

I sincerely hope that London does not even attempt to upstage the Chinese in presentation but have the confidence to display to the world our strengths of diversity in showing that London is the most cosmopolitan and most generous of spirit city on earth. My overwhelming fear is that the present government will be unable to resist the temptation to interfere and sabotage the London Games instead of trusting our Olympic Committee whose extreme hard work and presentation won London the Games in the first place. In new London Mayor Boris Johnson there is at least a chance to stage a Games of which to be proud.

There is a natural nervousness that our eight minute taster during the handing over of the Olympic Flag at the closing ceremony in Beijing will be embarrassing but I feel we should be confident of just being different from the Chinese in displaying our diversity, openness and sometimes fragility to an awaiting world.

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Tony2008-08-24 13:24:53
With only 45mins to go before that closing ceremony i have been re-watching some of the Olympic achievements of our boys and girls.
Becky, Chris and the crew have made the past fortnight the most memorable of recent sporting chapters.
Bring on the Ryder Cup, Ashes and World Cup we're on a charge!

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