Much to my surprise I have found myself absolutely loving the Olympics. The amount of medals we have gloriously acquired, the seemingly excellent organisation, stunning venues and the jaw-dropping, tear-jerking opening ceremony have all been wonderful to witness. The sense of national identity and collective pride in our athletes has also been very heart-warming but one of the things which has had most impact on me has been watching the relationship between the competitors and their proud parents played out on screen.
I am sure many of us remember the anguish and tears from Andy Murray’s mum at the close of the Wimbledon final in July. She described the experience of watching him play as a “mixture of nausea and a heart attack” so how wonderful was it to see her tears of joy and pride at his Olympic gold on Sunday! I don’t think anyone can have failed to have been touched by Tom Daley’s story – approaching these significant home Olympics without his father, mentor and best mate by his side and Gemma Gibbons, who on securing her judo silver medal looked to the heavens with the words “I love you mum”. An unlikely but none the less unforgettable star was father of South African swimmer and gold medal winner Chad Le Clos – joy overwhelming him as he described his son – ‘Look at him, he’s beautiful, I love him! Unbelievable! Unbelievable! Unbelievable! I’ve never been so happy in my life!’ Check that out on facebook for a real feel-good moment if you missed it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYa0r43Xn-8
So many athletes paid tribute to their parents – on the never-ending support and encouragement but also the financial and personal sacrifices made (endless driving to and from training sessions and competitions, early starts and late nights!) Alongside parents however some very powerful and personal tributes were also made to athlete’s coaches and trainers and those activity providers, teachers and community volunteers who ignited their passion in their sport from a young age – Mo Farah’s PE teacher was even best man at his wedding!
So….. have you and your family been inspired by the Olympics! Do you have any budding medal winners in your clan? Experts agree that cultivating and nurturing an interest in sport or activities at a young age is so important and as parents of course we are in that wonderful position to open up a wealth of opportunities to our little ones (and to instil in them that the sky’s their limit!!) So why not check out the wealth of classes and sporting activities at www.whatson4littleones.co.uk or www.whatson4schoolkids.co.uk – from football to fencing - and with so many class providers offering a free trial what have you got to lose?
Or head to BabyExpoMK on September 29 & 30 and you can meet activity providers face to face and also enjoy live demos and trial classes. For more see www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk and maybe you’ll be one of those proud parents on the BBC Breakfast sofa in 2020 and beyond!