A British Legacy?

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As the Paralympics wound down, Britain began to reminisce on what has been a spectacular year. This summer, the London Olympics have encompassed all that is great about our country and its amazing population. During the biggest sporting event in the world, our country showcased talents that can be envied globally, with athletes such as Chris Hoy and Jessica Ennis bringing home gold to become both national and international icons. Despite all of this success, the question remains; can Britain retain this pride and become a better society for it?

Since Britain won the right to host the games, talk of a so called ‘Olympic legacy’ has been repeatedly used as an excuse for the huge financial debt that the games brought. Lord Coe and the other members of LOCOG have defended the apparent £9bn spent with the promise of this legacy, with an additional £2bn set out to retain this success nationwide. This does beg the question however: how will this personally affect us as the future generation? Although £2bn is obviously a huge sum of money, in comparison to the cost of the games this budget is significantly smaller and some critics have argued that this shows a lack of ambition to keep the spirit and success across the country.

The Olympics have become a main part in many of our lives during the summer. In practically every house, the coverage has been constant and success, medals and pride have taken over the entire country. Despite living hundreds of miles away from the action the immersive nature of the games embraced all generations. As the games have ended, these proud moments will become only memories and the air of positivity over the country may be negated by the harsh reality of returning to reality. Lord Coe and his team must ensure that this legacy of sport and success does not become tarnished and is used in a positive light in our schools and workplaces. It is clear that we have the sporting talent in this country through the achievement of our athletes and these accomplishments should give the younger generation new icons to look up to rather than the pop star and celebrity culture that is often expressed throughout the media.

Games makers were seen as an integral part of the Olympic experience. These every-day people came together to create an atmosphere that was acclaimed globally, and this direct connection with our age group and all of society shows the vital part that the younger generation can play in such a major event. Instead of focusing on the minority of youngsters who give our generation a bad name, athletes such as Ellie Simmonds and Rebecca Adlington are a prime example of everything that is right about the country we live in.

The London Olympic motto was to ‘Inspire a Generation’, and with focus on the younger generation, this can become reality and hopefully a more positive message will resonate from our country.

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