Olympic fever has hit London thanks to an epic Opening Ceremony combined with the excited anticipation one would expect from the host city. It is hard not to get caught up in all the buzz. Fox and I explored the Olympic Village yesterday and got to support Great Britain in the men’s hockey at the Riverbank Arena. It was an all-round thoroughly positive experience.
I felt rather proud of my home city for the responsible ways in which they seem to have approached the whole affair; Fairtrade drinks are being sold from kiosks, there are recycling bins every few metres and I saw many a takeaway box made out of card rather than dreaded polystyrene. On so many levels, I have been pleasantly surprised by London 2012’s planning and I really feel that the legacy of the games is to ‘Inspire a generation’ in more ways than just in sport.
Most of all, what I love about the Olympics – this time and in previous years – is the way in which nations overlook differences and engage in healthy and enjoyable competition. It really makes me wonder how different the world could be if we truly set aside the things over which we disagree to engage with other issues that need our serious attention. If we could find the same enthusiasm for global concerns as we muster in order to leave a sporting legacy, how effective we might be at leaving this world better than we found it.
I am always astounded by the dedication of athletes; rising early, training everyday and sticking to a regimented diet…just for a start. For me, getting out of bed before 8am and finding my way to the kettle is an achievement. Yet, these sporting greats would not achieve what they do if it were not for the structured training regimes and dedication to their sport. If I am truly passionate and committed to seeing poverty and suffering ended within a generation then surely I too need some sort of routine which focuses my efforts and keeps me on-track. Therefore, amongst the business of life, I am aiming to spend 3 hrs a week working on things that relate to ethical issues; whether it is blogging, sourcing contacts for presenting 1.4 Billion Reasons or just learning more about current issues.
While I know that change needs to start with myself, I also realise that there is such joy in participating in team sports. My hope is that my training regime will equip me for individual challenges but equally that it will enable me to work alongside others toward a goal that can only be achieved as a team; all of us taking part to see the end of extreme poverty within a generation.