So the Olympics went out with a bang last night and we now all wait to see if the Games will create a lasting legacy. Readers of this blog could accuse me of being slightly anti-Olympics as most of my blog posts about London 2012 have focussed on the negatives, but I am pleased to say that I am proud to call myself British following the best Olympic Games in modern history. I think that London delivered on every part of its promise so far and all that is left is to work out if the aim “to inspire a generation” will be met.
My single worry over that objective is whether it is possible to inspire the entire generation or whether it will only be successful in inspiring a generation of middle-class children who were already appreciative of sporting glory and competition. Much has been written and spoken about the bias towards privately educated sports men and women and hopefully the current sound-bites by politicians about competitve sports being brought back to state schools are not just tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapping. It is wonderful to think that millions of children now consider Jessica Ennis and Mo Farrah as their heroes, rather than Amy Childs or Katie Price, but will they be given the support and opportunities to emulate the Olympians… or will the media revert within days to celebrating the nightlife and fashion sense (!) of the cast of TOWIE?
The print media may be having a tough time at present, tring to work out how to survive in todays ever-changing world, but they need to take the longer term view. Instead of using reality TV stars to sell papers/magazines, they need to help inspire the next generation by holding up true heroes and heroines.
Motorsport doesn’t have any involvement in the Olympics but the UK does have a rich motorsport heritage, with most F1 teams based in the UK and a wealth of British World Champions over the last 100 years. I hope that the legacy of London 2012 does succeed in inspiring a generation of youngsters to compete and excel at sport… and I hope that it spills over into motorsport and that we see a further crop of young drivers inspired to emulate Moss, Hill, Cooper, Button and Hamilton.