Positivity and the Olympic Games

Maybe it’s who I hang out with. Or maybe it’s who I see on my social network feeds. Maybe there’s a whole negative vibe still out there, but from where I’m sitting the vibe of this country has really been lifted by hosting the Olympic games.

Look, I was a bit cynical myself in the lead up to the opening night. Seeing the missile launchers on the tops of buildings in the London, the ticketing issues, and the general idea that this country’s just a little too crap to host something of this scale and it not be a flop. But to be honest all of that evaporated when I sat down with friends over a few beers and watched the opening ceremony. It was quite simply jaw-droppingly amazing. I have to say that from my perspective it seemed mainly for us brits, and I think for good reason.

For a long time now there has been the idea that we are a bit crap at this kind of thing. We have also been on the receiving end of a few jokes about our attitude and lifestyles (some of these jokes have been quite warranted to be honest). However, what this opening ceremony did for me was to remind me just what an amazing impact this little island has had on the worlds of culture, literature and music. And that our wonderful NHS system (which is still the envy of much of the world) is to be celebrated. It also acted as a little reminder to the rest of the world watching just what this nation has achieved and what it stands for. The parts with Rowan Atkinson, pogoing weird punks, and James Bond and the Queen parachuting into the arena also demonstrated our love of not taking ourselves too seriously. I sat, watched, laughed, cried, but I also knew that it would be alright. We aren’t crap, we are amazing. This island is amazing.

Since then the media has been awash with coverage of the games. Almost all day on the BBC, then the opening stories on the news, and so far it has been a endless flow of positivity. I’m sure there are still bad news stories happening all over the world, but for this two weeks the top stories on the news have been tales of achievement, of successes, of people overcoming obstacles, and fulfilling dreams. This has got to be good for the psyche of this country. It’s certainly doing me good.

Instead of people who have become famous for appearing on a reality TV show, and then milking a career of dubious notoriety, we are watching people who have dedicated their lives to their crafts and skills, and succeeding. Instead of seeing sports people who are so obviously led by the promise of huge sums of money, we are seeing sports people representing their country who are led by the idea of success. If only a few of the young people watching turn their gaze away from the celebs in junk mags, and notice a better way, a way of dedication and talent creating success, then what a gift that would be!

My fear is that next week, once the games are over, our TV scheduling will once more bow under the weight of reality TV shows, that the headlines will stop being about positive successes and achievements, and will return to death and depressing news. I hope, maybe in vein, that some of this positivity within the nation will be noticed by some media executives, and that they will think that maybe we could carry this on. We shall see. But in the mean time I’m loving having the games here, and the effect they are having on my brothers and sisters on this magical and wonderful Isle.

11 responses to “Positivity and the Olympic Games”

    • Thanks Grizzly. Well, I read the article, and I just cannot agree with him at all. The comparison is extreme and tbh, quite over the top in my opinion. Thanks for the link.

  1. Completely agree – didn’t want anything to do with it – but have do 180 degree turn and off to watch the sailing at Weymouth on Thursday, I feel as if I have won a gold medal I am so excited

    • One day I’m going to have to ask someone to explain to me how I would know who is winning a sailing race. It always looks like they are kind of sailing around in different directions, but fascinating nonetheless 🙂

  2. I agree with you! It is bliss seeing so many different folks from around this earth smiling and cheering….all in the same venue! I just know that without the scorge of greed the people of earth just might be able to live in peace. But alas, we are only human.

  3. It was lovely reading this Damh. Watching the Olympics from your great country has been spectacular. I am in the USA, so the negative press about the coverage is saddening. The focus should be on the incredible athletes and those who put on this brilliant show.

    Your post recalls to mind a Native American parable about a man who asks his spirit guide how to become happy. The spirit guide told him about 2 hungry wolves…one good, one evil. Whichever was fed the most would devour the man. So the guide asked him…which wolf did he want to continue feeding? It is a choice we must make every day.

    I encourage people to feed the good wolf every day so he grows big and strong, and though the evil wolf cannot perish, for there must be a balance in all things, he can become weak enough to not fight the good any longer.

    Here is to more and more people feeding the good wolf!

    Blessings good Bard!

  4. I’d love to be positive about the games but from a viewpoint three miles from the stadium , the damage done to local communities and green spaces has spoiled it for me.

  5. A great post and a timely reminder that the tv is “just” a communication tool and it is how we use it that determines the mood. I too was not a keen promoter of the Olympics – and there are still things that bug me when it is called The London Olympics – but it is the fact that with the additional channels I have been able to enjoy sports OThER than the ones I feel I was supposed to watch. That alone has changed my thinking.

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