Probably none like me.
Are we a vicarious nation? Do we get excited and disappointed when others win and lose on our behalf? It seems to me that we invest a lot in our athletes.We often define ourselves by our athletes’ performances. We expect them to perform on our behalf. They train for four years and we get excited and disappointed.What enormous weight we put on such young shoulders. I think we should admire their performances regardless of the result . We should respect that they represent this country on the world stage. They are the best at their event in this country to be sent to the Olympics. They perform for our enjoyment. We are watching their lives not our own. Let’s support them even if it means stopping the criticism over lunch. It’s bizarre to hear commentators criticising the athletes when they have never attempted anything remotely like representing their country. The commentators who have represented their country are supportive and understanding.
Once the Olympics are over consider doing more yourself and getting excited and disappointed at your own exploits. Go for your own gold in a field of endeavour that is closer to your home and heart. It is so strange to hear people say ‘we won the gold medal’. Who is we? It is sad to see a young athlete in tears because they let down their country. None compete to do their second best and we should help them to feel proud to compete on the world stage. Do your own performing and leave them to do theirs. Admire them and admire yourself.
I learnt this lesson when judging Little Athletics. I was amazed at parents who queried a result. ‘My son won. You made a mistake’. The son was there to enjoy himself. It seems the parent was there to build their reputation. ‘My son won the 50 metres for under nines. Do you want to shake my hand?’ I never had any queries from the children competing. Maybe we should have had events for the parents.
Support our Olympians. Participate in something yourself besides watching them perform on your behalf. Let’s aim to become the third most obese country instead of sitting in second place.