The Olympian Effect in Britain
After the huge successes of team GB in the London Olympic games, and the pride that the nation felt both for them, and in the staging of the international showpiece, the hopes were of continued interest and enthusiasm for the country to embrace more sport.
It was hoped that across the nation, the population would become inspired to take up pursuits that our sportsmen and women had excelled in.
Certainly cycling has seen some positive uptake, but many field sports appear to have continued their gentle decline as facilities dwindle.
The attitude of councils would seem to remain that playing fields are little more than potential development opportunities.
One notably different and growing sporting success area is the number of medals taken by the swimming team.
Once the Olympic preserve of the “sunshine” states of Australia and the USA, team GB have made waves in the pool sports events.
This may be helped by the increasing numbers of children learning to swim, aided by the growing number of independent swimming class providers, as well as the inclusion of swimming lessons in primary school’s curriculum.
Learning to swim is so much more important than learning just a sport, as swimming is the one sport that could save your life. You don’t have to train like an Olympic hopeful to be able to save your life in the water, but self-confidence in it could serve you very well indeed.
Almost all the participants of the Olympic games, whatever their given sport, will have trained like very few athletes anywhere on earth, even sports such as shooting or archery require physical fitness at its peak.
The funding for potential Olympic athletes has obviously hit the right spot in training and development, as we have seen team GB go from an unprecedented home performance to what amounted to what could be described as a world-wide master class in Olympic achievements.
The medal table spoke volumes as the Rio games proceeded, with the cyclists, their machines and techniques becoming a wonder of the world.
Such a successful team obviously saw victory, or placings in almost all events. From team efforts and individuals, the medal count seemed unstoppable.
Field and track events, indoor athletics and gymnastic disciplines, and on the water, sailing, rowing, kayaking and more, so many contestants, all trained to the peak of their ambition or destiny.
And of course, in the water, where poolside team GB achieved their highest medal tally since 1908, now that makes a splash!