Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A Post-Apocolympic Sporting World

If you're being honest with yourself, as a British Sporting fan, did you really think we would have quite such a successful Olympics

Surely something is amiss when we experience this level of genuine success with no 'buts' and particularly when all the logistical side of things ran so smoothly as well. A lesson in how to defy multiple British self-perceptions in one spectacular fortnight. After years of being faithful (and perhaps ever so slightly masochistic) spectators of great anticipation preceding deflating and disappointing sporting performances something was very different this time. It is unlikely that many of us will have in our lifetime either another London Olympics or a time of such unified national fervour and support. Similarly it's pretty unlikely that any time soon Team GB or its composite nations will see a repeat of such unbridled sporting success.

There was such a build up that frankly most of the country was pretty sick of the whole thing before it even started and yet as a nation we were won over by relentless success. Barely a day seemed to go past when we didn't win a medal in a sport that we barely knew existed, alongside overwhelming dominance in the likes Cycling and Rowing. Suddenly the whole nation, sporting-sceptics included, found itself being swept along about Canoeing, fired up about Trap Shooting and struck by Taekwondo. 

So now we find ourselves back in the regular swing of things. The football season has begun again in earnest, with the League Cup, Charity Shield and random irrelevant international friendlies. It's hard to see how anyone can stop City from dominating the Premiership this season. A slow start might put them under pressure and make the race interesting, but the strengthening done by the chasing pack doesn't seem like enough to make the difference. Chelsea and Arsenal have spent a lot and brought in some excellent players but have lost their respective talismen with Drogba departing and Van Persie making his intentions clear. It seems as though Utd have sealed the RVP deal so they could seriously threaten, as they almost always do, but the likes of Liverpool and Spurs, if anything, seem weaker than last year. That said, the new manager effect is an unpredictable enigma at the best of times. At least we don't have much time to wait to find out.

Meanwhile, the rest of the sporting world continues as though it is any old August. London 2012 and the great success of Team GB has no bearing now on the England - South Africa cricket series, the US Open tennis, the AVIVA Premiership rugby and Formula 1 returning to action from its mid-season break. Plenty to keep us interested then.


  1. Yeah definitely plenty to keep interested. British sports aren't doing too badly at mo, outside of the Olympics, too.

    Golf Ranking:
    No1. McIlroy N.Ireland.
    No2. Luke Donald England.
    No3. Tiger Woods USA
    No4. Lee Westwood England.

    That ain't too shabby.
    England test cricket side. Ranking No1-2.

    European Champions league winners:

    Fifa world ranking
    1. Spain 2.Germany 3. England

    Wimbledon doubles:
    complete outsider Johnny Marray won with his danish doubles' partner.

    Wimbledon singles:
    Murray - First British man in final since 1938.

    England rugby side are 4th behind NZ, Australia and South Africa (not the same sides ahead of us as in football, showing we have more consistency between the sports).

    F1: two british drivers in the top 10, but Lewis still not pulled it back together after his problems last year.

    As nation i think we see ourselves too much in terms of losing penalty shoot-outs in European and World cup football. It's become a complex for the England football team. So much pressure and they bottled it so many times already. When the spotlight is off they play better. When you remove penalty shoot-out from equation, English and British sports are pretty good across the board this year.

    Could def. come 4th or 3rd again in Olympics.

    If English footballers could become the best in the world at penalty shoot-outs, reversing decades of embarrassment, that would REALLY help the nation's confidence. :-)

  2. I agree, we are competetive across the board really - maybe we only feel disappointed because we have such high expectations. Lots to be proud of and hopefully will get some big wins in major tournaments soon enough