A little over a week ago I was quite bored with the Olympics.
More precisely I was bored by all the hype surrounding the games and by the media attention to the things that were going wrong and which they predicted were going to go wrong!
Whilst I am an avid football, rugby and cricket fan, I have had little real interest in track and field and indeed swimming, cycling, tennis and many of the other disciplines that make up the games.
How different I feel today.
I guess like many others I have been inspired by the athletes.
It must be inspiration because I can find no other reason for sitting in front of the TV (now I wish I had applied for Olympic tickets!) watching such disciplines as Gymnastics and cheering on and enthusing about, not just Team GB, but the other competitors.
I can honestly say I have never previously watched much of the Olympics but this time I have been glued to the box from 7pm to 10pm every evening.
It seems to me that the Olympic spirit is alive and well.
Sure this is about winning – it wouldn’t be a competition if it were not – but it is also about so much more. The adage that it is “about taking part” seems to shine through.
I love the sportsmanship, the camaraderie, the fact that I think we have witnessed more tears from the winners than from the losers.
I love the little but important touches, for example in the semi final of the 100m where the ultimate gold medal winner James swapped his name badge with the para-Olympian contestant Pistorius and then on camera described him as their inspiration.
There is that word again, inspiration.
Talk is of a lasting legacy with our young people embracing sport and producing the competitors and gold medal winners of the future.
But potentially I think it goes much further than this.
Understanding the massive commitment that the athletes put into their sport is in itself highly motivational and I believe that motivation crosses boundaries. Why shouldn’t the commercial world or the academic world take on board the lessons from these young men and women?
If you truly want the best results you have to train for them; four years of early mornings, overcoming injuries, hard work, physical pain and endeavour in order to perform at their very best for just a few minutes (sometimes just a few seconds) sends out an important lesson to us all.
If you really want to be the best then you have to be prepared to pay the price to be the best and that price is about dedication to the task in hand.
Setting goals. Never giving up. Never making do for less than you are capable of.
Photo credit: Flickr/ianduffy