The Closing Ceremony has begun. The Games are over. David Weir blew our minds this morning when he won the wheelchair marathon. I have a host of new heroes after these last ten days, but David Weir is the one I admire the most. And tonight he is one of the flag-bearers of Paralympics GB with Sarah Storey. When I wrote about the opening ceremony, I said that I expected we would become as familiar with the Paralympians as we had the Olympians. So it has proved. Yes I knew about Oscar and Ellie, David and Sarah. I even had a passing acquaintance with Johnny and Hannah , but it wasn’t like it is now, where I feel as though I have been on an exhilarating and unforgettable journey where they have lead me to highs I never knew about. And I have a hero on the French wheelchair rugby team, Riadh Sallem who kept my attention riveted with his determination and competitiveness. He has star quality, by which I mean you have to watch him, he radiates such energy.

Sallem Makes a Break

There has been a lot of talk about The Legacy. I’m still thinking about it. It made me go back and search for the bid back in 2005. It took a while to find. It doesn’t seem to be on YouTube. You have to follow this link.
And I found some forgotten heroes of these Games; two men who have not featured in the summer of London2012; Ken Livingstone and Tony Blair. Both were key figures in the Olympic bid seven years ago. I listened to Blair saying this was a bid that had full parliamentary backing, all parties united in support of it, and it struck me as strange and wrong that Boris Johnson and David Cameron have somehow managed to be the political front for this success, to claim the credit and enjoy the kudos when they are basically a pair of Johnny-Come-Latelys, hitching an opportunist ride on the coat tails of those who worked for this. And as for George Osborne, what was he doing there if not to try to get some of the Paralympic gold dust to adhere to his tarnished soul?
If politicians had to be involved, shouldn’t it have been politicians of all flavours, equally represented? It’s the one bad taste that’s left in the mouth.
And how about John Major? He was the Prime Minister who insisted that money raised by the National Lottery should go to support sport. Without that insistence, London2012 would not be. Surely he should have at least been shown in the crowd, interviewed for his reactions, presented a bouquet or three.
There are many legacies that I hope will be because of London 2012, but BoJo and Cameron exploiting them for political gain are not among them. Such exploitation smacks uncomfortably of 1936.
Let the flames burn pure.


13 thoughts on “Legacy

    • Hannah Cockroft is surely assured a career in television if she ever wants one. You’d cheer up just hearing her voice. A future Tanni.
      The other two are shameless. Naked ambition.

    • Personally, get a haircut or tourists are going to start photographing me thinking I am a thatched cottage. I don’t like being in big crowds, so will miss the celebratory parade, but watch out for it on the news.
      Seriously, I hope we nurture the spirit that we have seen this summer, and keep that flame burning. It has shown us another way, a way that shows spending money on things governments like to term luxuries lift us, make us happier, more productive. I bet prescriptions of Prozac and anti-depressives have dropped this summer.

  1. There is generally little recognition for visionaries (and potentially Blair and Livingston were not the visionaries, merely the advocates) However, it is sad it appears they have been excluded from any acknowledgement.

  2. I’ve never been one to watch sports, but I have always been even more impressed by the paralympics, somehow. What Olympians do is amazing, but the paralympic athletes seem to do as much or more IMO, despite disabilities that would prevent many from even trying.

    I recopied the link to my blog in the comment details. I don’t think it’s any different from what was there, but wonder if it might work better for you…

    • I am not a sports fan, so my enslavement to the Olympics and Paralympics has been quite out of character. I loved both. Both games showed athletes at their peak, they were so inspiring. But even more amazing has been the atmosphere in London. 1968 may have been the Summer of Love, but 2012 has been the Summer of Warnth and Happiness. I hope its afterlife is longer than 1968’s.

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