So it’s all over! The golden nosed plane touched down to a reception committee comprising mainly press and Heathrow staff and the rest of us have to wait till October for the open topped bus. The 'Roll of Honour' was four times longer than I expected it to be, then again, I was optimistic regarding the so-called minority sports I've been following, who once again brought us home the bulk of the medals. What’s the betting there’ll still be an overpaid, underachieving footballer on the Sports Personality of the Year list, even though, let’s be honest, how can you even contemplate putting anyone on the list who hasn‘t achieved at least world champion status this year, considering the Olympic Champions who have? (see World of Sport, below left).
On to London and an earnest plea to the organisers - reasonably priced tickets, is it too much to ask? And let us, the public, have the majority of them so we don’t end up with half empty stadiums, whilst the sponsors’ guests stagger around their hospitality tents. And ensure the funding is in place and targeting the right areas ie. the grass roots, facilities, medical back up and the coaches and performances directors whose policies, combined with the talent and dedication of the athletes brought about these results - other countries are already trying to poach cycling’s Dave Brailsford. I found a very interesting quote from him:
"You look in other sports and the more money involved the less loyalty there seems to be.”
Which isn’t to say he doesn’t need to earn a living - but he’s spot on there, when you look at our national game (which I’m guessing could well be cycling by 2012, especially with the ongoing environmental issues and petrol prices!)
As ever, when it comes to track and field athletes who medalled, I’m always left with a sense of: Have they achieved because of the system in place, or in spite of it? Is it just the occasional talented individual’s own big heart and commitment that produces the desired result? I think the athletics chiefs have to look closely at the set up of the cycling team and see how they can adapt the policies to their own sport. Kelly Holmes actually said that maybe they should bring the throwers together, the jumpers together and so on. It might help the relay teams too …
I only recently found out that the Performance Director for Team GB is Sir Clive Woodward, read this excellent interview here and pray that the FA see sense after 2012.
I seem to have had a bit of a rant when all I really wanted to say was: Congratulations, fantastic job Team GB! Good luck to all of you up to and beyond 2012.