SPORT TIME: what the Olympics can do for even sport haters

It’s been a while since we’ve had a sport post but the riots over the last few days have made Britain re-evaluate its society and what kind of picture of London this shows the world. In this guest post Paul looks at what the Olympics can do not only for our economy and sportsmen but also what it means for us personally, not matter where you were born.

“I always turn to the sport pages first, which records people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures” -unknown

It’s been a week of turbulence and tragedy. The country has been left in shock from the rioting that has spread over the last five days. But, I’m not going to talk about that. I want to talk about something positive. I want to talk about the Olympic Games that’ll be taking place in Britain this time next year.

The Olympics isn't just for sport fans

The games have been a long time coming now. The expectation has been rising for years, and rightly so. This is a once in a generation event where the whole world will gather in the UK to see some of the most extraordinary people attempt the most amazing human accomplishments of strength, speed, endurance and skill.

As you can tell, I am very excited. I’m a massive sports fan; however, I’m absolutely convinced that the Olympics can appeal to everyone. I urge everybody to watch the opening ceremony, to see the pride on the faces of athletes representing their countries, whether they’re American or Nigerian or Russian or French or Tongan. I also urge you to attempt and watch some of the actual competition. Maybe it’s just me but I can’t imagine anything more inspirational than watching people from all walks of life push themselves to their very limits for an extra inch or for one less second. Whether you are athletic or not this is something you can’t help but admire.

The greatest thing about the games, however, is what it stands for. It isn’t just about people throwing sticks and running very fast. To me the Olympics is about peace, co-operation and equality. There are few things the whole world comes together for and the Olympics manages it every four years in the spirit of friendly competition. Competitors fight to beat each other, but when it’s all over you see them embrace each other as friends and are able to acknowledge the great performances by their competitors. It’s a spirit we should all come to respect and emulate.

Even after over a hundred years of the modern Olympic Games there is still so much that it can do to inspire the world.