Olympics Made Me Proud To Be British

Olympics Made Me Proud To Be British

The Olympics made me feel very proud to be British.

I have to admit that before it all got underway, I was hugely sceptical of whether it would be a success.

If I am being brutally honest, I thought it would flop and be full of embarrassing mistakes and organisational catastrophies.

But, as the Games went on, it drew me further and further in like some sort of spell.

I was on holiday in Spain for one of the weeks and I have never done so little sunbathing in my life. The TV was on from morning until night and the action was compelling.

Along with that, the organisation was incredible and that created a good vibe and lots of smiling faces.

As a nation, we are quick to mock ourselves and that self-deprecation is part of our character. But this was a chance to shout unashamedly from the rooftops about what a success story we had created.

That felt really good.

There is lots of talk now about what legacy the London 2012 Games should leave.

As well as the debate about how much time should be allocated for children to play sport in our schools, I really hope that those athletes who competed and did so well become the sort of role-models that our kids aspire to.

They are this country’s real celebrities and were the pride of Britain.

The dedication required to reach those levels and perform on that big a stage is huge and there are many sacrifices along the way.

But to reach the very top of your chosen event and be successful in doing so is something I hope will seem attractive to kids. The accolades for winning is to stand on top of that podium with the national anthem playing and our country’s kids have seen all of the pride and emotion associated with doing that.

Hopefully that will act as a real inspiration.

At Exeter, we could have done with a little inspiration of ourselves when we opened our pre-season account at home to Irish province Connaught last week.

We lost 8-6 and we were poor. Probably with memories of last year’s hammering we gave them at their place in pre-season, they wanted it more than us from the opening whistle and we were not as switched on as we should be.

We let down ourselves and our fans and, after a good pre-season, we will be making sure that we right those wrongs during our remaining pre-season hit-outs.

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