In the past day,I ,along with millions of others,watched the action from the Birds Nest trying to put the achievements of the Great British team in some contest.Truth is,I’ve watched the Team for over 40 years,with the dulcet tones of the great David Coleman as my verbal expert.Now,Brendan Foster,Steve Cram,and company have taken up that mantle.
Personally,having watched our heroes of yesteryear,like David Hemmery in the Mexico Olympics,Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett,Daley Thompson in countless games,Lynford Christie,Alan Wells,Fatima Whitbread,Mile Bakeley,and so many many more,I would struggle to name the best of our all time Athletes.
Now,there are Athletes who have raised the bar so much as to be beyond my comprehension.Mo Farah is one such.To run the 10,000 metres and win,then to run 5000 metres heat,and to follow it up with another race yesterday and win again is truly great.Yes,we are now dealing with finely tones professional men and women who sacrifice so much of their lives to be the best.
It would be true to say that British Athletics,even though as with all sports,there are problems,but we are surely in dream land to have world beaters now like Farah,Ennis-Hill,and Rutherford.
What has been said about Rutherford being lucky is crass stupidity,anyone who knows anything about the sport will easily provide a counter narrative to these statements.Greg Rutherford was a great Athlete before the Birds Nest,now he will go down I. History.
As I watched the championships yesterday,I thought about one of the greatest Athletes that we ever produced,Lillian Board,so tragically cut down through cancer in the 1970s.I still remember her stride pattern,her grace,her determination,her integrity.If she hadn’t been struck down,I have no doubt that she would be involved in the sport now,or lending her expert knowledge on the couch of the BBC.
I’m just a regular punter,I’m no Jonathan Edwards or Michael Johnson,but I care about this sport.
To end this blog post,I want to home in on watch Michael Johnson said about Usain Bolt after his 100 metres win a few days.He said the Usain ran like you do as a child for the love of it.I did that as a young boy,along with countless others in my secondary school.
That ,to me,is the essence of the sport in its simplistic sense.