Sunday, 5 August 2012

London 2012


I have tried to grasp what the London Olympics mean and why they are such a joyous occasion. Even the tumultous celebrations for the gold medals of Super Saturday transcend nationality because we feel wonder at the extraordinary achievements of Michael Phelps in the swimming pool even as we celebrate Jessica Ennis in the stadium.

This morning I heard Lord Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, talking to Gary Richardson on Sportweek, BBC Radio 5 Live and he told this very moving story: 

"Yesterday I met a volunteer Games Maker [who are everywhere in their distinctive purple and beige uniforms] and asked him what he did. The volunteer replied that he was a medic at the boxing venue and so I asked him what he did in everyday life. After he had explained that he was an consultant anaesthetist in the A&E of a large London hospital I thanked for him what he was doing, telling him that the event would not be possible without him and how fortunate all the competitors were to have such high quality medical care. He paused and said 'Oh no - thank you, Lord Coe, thank you for bringing these Olympics to London. I was on duty at the hospital on the day of the London bombings and on that day I saw the worst that humanity can do. This week I have seen the very best that humanity can accomplish and it has given me closure - that is why I want to thank you."

We go to the Olympic Park on Tuesday to wonder at the buildings, the flower meadows and the athletic events. We will wave our flags and cheer until we are hoarse and I will remember the day for the rest of my life no matter who wins or loses, because in that park is the very best that humanity can accomplish.

11 comments:

  1. Please don't make me cry any more, all this emotion is wearing me out. I almost feel as if I have actually been doing some kind of sporting activity instead of sitting on my sofa welling up.

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  2. So lovely and refreshing to read this ... All we hear about are the medals etc ( mind you loving how well Great Britain is going) but that spirit you describe is what it is all about.

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  3. I am the least athletic person in the world, so I can only think that the spirit you've written about must be what is keeping me glued to the screen. We can't get there, so please wave an extra wave for us!

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  4. Look what we can do when we put our hearts and souls into things, uplifting stuff.

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  5. pass the tissues........

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  6. It is just wonderful... everything about it.

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  7. We went last Wednesday and it really was the most amazing and memorable day. Yes I enjoyed the sport, yes I loved looking at the wildflowers and buildings but the thing that touched me the most was how all the volunteers were really enjoying themselves. The atmosphere was extraordinary and something I'll remember forever.

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  8. Leave it to Alice to give us such a lovely and emotional perspective of the Olympics.

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  9. I hope it was a wonderful day for you, Alice! We're really enjoying all that London has to offer and the incredible stories being told.

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  10. Beautiful x

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