Monday, 9 July 2012

Can you feel the Olympic fever?

Today we spent a great day in our home town, we went in early and enjoyed a joint church service in the rain, then we had free homemade cakes and did lots of craft and played games, all without spending a penny. It really was lovely. The highlight of the day was supposed to be watching the once in a lifetime event of the Olympic torch passing through our town but that for me was the anti-climax of the day.

I keep hearing lots of enthusiastic chatter about the Olympics, people being beside themselves with excitement - you know themed parties, torch processions, a blogger friend even travelling back from her holiday in France to watch the synchronised swimming event and of course loads of blogs are littered with craft ideas, recipes and Olympic themed linkys. But I need to be honest, I just do not feel the excitement, sadly I have no real enthusiasm for the Olympics being held in London. It has been suggested that I am just 'bah humbug' and I'm told I should be proud and that it is a wonderful thing that will enthuse my children about participating in sport.

Really? How marvellous, I would love for my children to be really enthusiastic about sport, not so they can be Olympians, just so they are healthy and can enjoy their lives to the fullest. But I have to confess I am not too sure the Olympics will do this. Perhaps if some of the money that has been lavished on new sporting accommodation and associated services had been given to schools, local leisure centres or swimming pools to lay on some free or subsidised classes then there might have been a better chance for my kids. As it is I struggle to pay for sports lessons, the girls going to gymnastics costs me about £100 every half-term. I would love for them to learn to swim and have lessons, but where would that money come from?  Yes we could give less to charity but then for me personally it means something has gone wrong if we become so insular that just our family’s needs come first.
Anyway I digress, back to the matter in hand – JJ came home the other week and presented me with his homework. He needed to talk to his parents about their views of the Olympics and write a short passage about this. ‘Ekk, oh no’ thinks I, I do not really have much of a view about the Olympics or certainly nothing that positive anyway.
My overriding feeling is that far too much money has been spent on London hosting the games. Yes I know that a deprived area of East London has been regenerated because of it and that of course is a great thing. But, let’s be honest, it should have happened anyway, why did they have to wait for the Olympics? I do not believe that sport should have to sell out to Coca-Cola and Cadbury to allow people to have a decent standard of living accommodation. Not in the UK, not in this day and age.
I decided it was not wise to show JJ my lack of knowledge about current affairs and thus turned to Google. It seems that opinion is divided; there are plenty of people like me who think this PR exercise is a step too far and then others who really do seem to think it is the best news ever and has the potential to change the shape of things in the UK.
I was disheartened to read that many countries end up in a far worse situation financially after hosting the games. Ideas of grandeur getting in the way of rational thinking perhaps? I don’t want to be ‘bah humbug’ just for the sake of it, but in honesty I have no interest at all in competitive sports. I’m told I should feel a sense of pride when England win in a championship but in reality I may not even know it has happened.
I don't believe the Olympics will change my opinion towards sports, it would be nice to think that it might enthuse my children to try more things out but realistically I think it will all be forgotten by September.  How sad!
So how are you feeling about the Olympics?  can you feel that fever?
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