…we called them ‘medal hopefuls’, or something along those lines.
In those far-off days saying the phrase was sufficient to ensure disappointment. In fact even thinking such a thing was usually the kiss of death – so such ideas were best stifled at birth and banished.
So it has been a genuine and unexpected pleasure to see us doing things differently in 2012. In this I’m surely not alone, so no prizes (medals ?) claimed for originality, thank you.
Take Mo Farah. Take Andy Murray. There was nothing inevitable about their wins. But there was an unmistakeable confidence in how they went about things, and it was nice to see them winning in style. Mo Farah did not get out-foxed at the half-way stage; Mo Farah did not crumble in the last 100 metres; Mo Farah did not get out-gunned in the last 10 metres: all of which explains why that victory found me with a tear or two.
And what about the silvers, the bronzes, those who came 4th or 8th or 12th, and those (few) who crashed and burned ? Well, here’s my statistical take: collective performance comes out as a bell-curve; overall the bell-curve has shifted towards the high-achieving end; for that I’m more than thankful; well done one and all.
Olympics 2013 anyone ? I might even buy a ticket.