Enough of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze

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As Team GB’s success in the Olympic Games increases, is our obsession with medals also on the rise? The Olympic Games is considered worldwide to be the biggest sporting event in history. Every four years the world comes together to take part in healthy competition and good sportsmanship to become part of cultural and sporting history. But at the London 2012 Olympic Games, it seems our obsession with winning medals is making the healthy competition unhealthy.

The Games are now in full swing and Team GB is slowly making their way up the medal table. As exciting as our nation’s growing Olympic success is and the pride this success in inducing in generations all over the country. It seems that with this increasing sporting glory comes an equally growing obsession with medal victory, causing all of us Brits to catch medal fever.

The opening ceremony of the 2012 Games was an amazing display of Britain’s history and heritage, tying the good and the bad, and the educational and the cultural all together to show the world why we are worthy to host the Olympics. It seemed that from then on the Olympic Games would not only consist of sport and athletes, but it would consist of the sprit of the Olympics as a whole. But the more the Great British team succeed in the competition, the more focused we are on medal winning and where we stand against the rest of the world. It seems that in the case of medals, the more you look, the more you see. The BBC website for example is packed full of Olympic news and coverage, in particular it has plenty of news on Team GB’s medal success. Going on to the BBC website’s Olympic homepage one of the first things you see is the medal table, understandable as the famous gold, silver and bronze medals are part of what the Olympic Games is all about. Continue to look and you spot various stories and news that also focus on medals, e.g. ‘Murray wins Olympic tennis gold’, ‘Greene can win gold, says Johnson’ and ‘Team GB’s Campbell secures medal’. We get a sense of national pride when we gain medals, yet at the same time we don’t consider as much the importance of just being able to take part in something that means so much in worldwide culture and history.   

Did you know the Get Set London 2012 website states that according to record books the first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC? They were held in Olympia,Greece to honour the God Zeus and lasted for only a day to hold a running race, the only sporting event of the Ancient Olympic Games. So much history and cultural influence behind the Olympics that we are now hosting in a once in a lifetime opportunity, yet we continue to see less of this side and more of the winning and medal counting. I could well be underestimating the nation in this sense, there are plenty who support Team GB and the rest of the competing nations in just having the privilege of taking part in the historical event, and there are those who support the team taking part while at the same time urge our nation’s athletes to succeed. But there are still plenty out there whose only interest in the Olympic Games lies in winning and medals alone. Maybe we should start to think about what’s more important in the Olympics.

Jenny Pinder

I'm a 22 year old living in Hull, soon to be living in Leeds. I recently found out I have officially passed my university degree, so now I have a summer of fun to look forward to. At the moment everything in life is falling nicely into place.

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