Yesterday I joined thousands of others as we celebrated day five of the Olympic Torch Relay. I stood on the streets of Royal Wootten Bassett cheering as it got carried past, my enthusiasm only beaten by that of my children and their classmates at the local primary school in Minety. The whole school had boarded coaches, carrying their flags and banners ready for the big event. They stood in blazing sunshine for almost two hours for a brief glimpse of the flame. The atmosphere was amazing and the children loved it!
Even the constant moaning from a variety of quarters about almost every aspect of the games, whether it is ticketing, who the sponsors are, who gets to carry the torch, how much has someone sold their torch for, what the kit looks like, the positive or negative effect on the economy, who benefits the most, etc. etc., cannot dampen my enthusiasm.
Regardless of the ballyhoo that goes on around the Olympics it really is all about the athletes who have devoted many years of their lives to compete at the pinnacle of sporting excellence. Let’s focus on the positive and celebrate their motivation, courage, devotion and hard work rather than get hung up on negativity. There will be 550 athletes in Team GB and 350 in Paralympics GB. Apart from the headline grabbing superstars of sport that we can all name, there are still a vast number of lesser known athletes, putting every effort into being the best that they can be, and many of them are World Champions.. Those individuals don’t bask in media glory, take home huge win bonuses or have lucrative sponsorship deals.
The official Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius , which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger” is not a bad motto to follow in life. Also the more informal but well known motto, also introduced by Pierre De Coubertin, – “The most important thing is not to win but to take part!” is another one that I’m sure you hear many parents telling their children.
We can all take something positive from the Olympic Games, regardless of where we live or how old we are. I am a firm believer in taking control of your destiny, rather than moaning about it. We can apply it to all aspects of our lives – our health , our prospects and our finances. A little bit of positivity and a whole lot of effort goes a long way. Perhaps if we focussed a bit more on the things we can change in our lives there might be some “higher, faster, stronger” outcomes.
As an Olympian I am extremely proud to see the Olympic Games come to our shores. Let’s focus on the good things, be motivated by the athletes dedication to the cause, show the same commitment to getting to where we want to be in life, as well as getting behind Team GB while we do it.
Joanne Jones is Marketing Manager at Proposito Financial Planning Ltd and was a member of Team GB at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul