Olympic legacy

23rd August 2012

The Olympic legacy


The 2012 London Olympics will be remembered for lots of different things, tears, world records,medals, Union Jacks and the realisation that Paul McCartney’s best years are behind him!


What about its legacy?  There are new sports venues where once there was wasteland and there are now millions of budding sport stars as clubs everywhere report new recruits taking up everything from archery to boxing.


Female legacy

 But what about the specific legacy for females?

London 2012 is the first Olympic games where every competing nation has at least one female representative.  Also it was the first games where women took part in every sport including boxing.

There were more female athletes, from more countries, contesting more medals than ever before. Three of the five biggest delegations, the United States, China and Russia, brought more female athletes than men, and the women came through in a big way. Women won 29 of the 46 golds won by the US, which topped the medals-tally, while female competitors accounted for 20 of China's 38 golds.

For the host nation, London 2012 proved one of the most successful Games ever, especially for its female athletes who won gold, among others, in cycling, equestrian and rowing events, several for the first time, helping Britain to its 3rd placing in the gold medals and its best tally since 1908.

Two 16-year-olds made history: China's swimmer, Ye Shiwen, produced the first world record of the London Olympics winning the 400m individual medley on the opening night, and won a second gold in the 200m individual medley setting an Olympic record; equally stunning was US swimming sensation, Melissa Franklin, called "Missy the Missile", who won five medals including four gold, setting world records in the 200m backstroke and the 4x100m medley relay – the most successful female athlete of London 2012.


you may be asking “but what has that got to do with me?”  Well the biggest legacy, in my view relates to the message that sits behind these terrific achievements.

Samantha Murray won a silver medal in the modern pentathlon and when interviewed afterwards stated   

 "Honestly, if you have a goal, anything you want to achieve in life, don't let anybody get in  your way, you can do it.

There are so many people and so many things that will feel like they're trying to set you back but honestly, find the path you want to take in life and follow it, stick to it because if I can do it - I'm a normal girl - anybody can do anything they want to do."

Helen wasn’t alone with this message, other medal winners including the rowers were talking about how they hadn’t even taken up the sport until 4 years ago.


The real message here is that it isn’t always the best that succeed, only a very few individuals have an outstanding talent, most people get to achieve their dreams through self belief and hard work.  For most women the second part is really easy, it is the first part, the self belief which causes the problem.  Often you are far better than you actually think you are.

What can you do about it?

  1. Understand where this lack of confidence comes from and start believing the opposite then “I can’t” becomes “I can”.
  2. Most things stopping us move forward are in our heads and not often based on reality.
  3. Henry Ford stated “If you think you can do a thing you are probably right and if you think you can’t you are also probably right”.
  4. Remember, failure is not a bad thing.  It is better to try and fail than never try at all....


So what is it you are putting off?  What wil be your legacy?


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