Monday, 13 August 2012

The Legacy of London

The Olympic Stadium is set to host Premier League football in the coming years
29 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze. Great Britain's record-breaking medal haul at London 2012 makes for extremely impressive reading in itself, but beyond the undeniable facts of our achievements, there's so much more we can take from what has been a truly unforgettable Olympic Games.

Just over one year ago, the city of London found itself at the root of a series of riots which spread across England and brought shame upon the nation. The events of the last two weeks have put us back on the map and restored the pride and dignity which had been severely dented. The eyes of the world were upon us and I'm sure all the spectators would agree that we put on a fantastic show.

Our bid, headed by LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) chairman Sebastian Coe, was centred around one key word...legacy. It wasn't just about what happened between 27th July 2012 and 12th August 2012; it was about what happened in the months and years that followed. Our aim was to make effective use of the venues built for the games, to boost our shattered economy and most importantly of all, to inspire the next generation of athletes. So have we achieved what we set out to do? 

Although the Olympics have ended, the process of fulfilling our promises is still in its infancy. There's very little room to criticise what we've accomplished thus far but we have to build on the triumph and bear in mind that we are still open to scrutiny from across the globe. We must see our plan through and repay the faith that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) showed in us when we were awarded the games back in 2005.

Iconic feats such as Jessica Ennis' emphatic victory in the Heptathlon and Mo Farah's gold medal winning performances in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres will provide plenty of impetus. These two phenomenal athletes are justification alone for the lasting legacy we are craving for. If we can produce talent of that calibre now, there's no reason why we can't do it again in the future. We can't afford to rest on our laurels and have to put all our efforts into repeating the cycle time and time again.   

Such has been the success of the games, there is already talk of London bidding again for 2024. The likelihood of it coming off is slim - simply because the 12 year gap is quite minimal when put into perspective - but anything can happen in sport. Many doubted that we could pick up where Beijing 2008's jaw-dropping showpiece left off but we've done that comfortably and perhaps we can go one better. Rio ought to get their thinking caps on because one thing is for sure, we'll be an incredibly tough act to follow.

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