We all have our inspirational characters, some we know and love dearly, some we have never met. Some may be teachers and hopefully for all us, our parents would be right up there.
I am happy to say that both my parents are the most inspirational people in my life. Dad has always been spiritual, polite, mannered, considerate and above all loyal. He dislikes confrontation but will never yield on his principles, but he just won’t attack head first. Instead he always gets his way through consensus and wants to see everyone treated fairly. He has always liked sport, but his first love has always been music, closely followed by his garden. As a boy, Dad was not the one on the touch line, yelling support, encouraging me to play every single sport on offer, and give everything for the team, he inspired me in other ways. No, the person always there, always taking an interest in sport and pushing me was my Mum.
So when the tickets for the London Olympics went on sale, I just had to get a ticket for Mum. We have watched the Olympics down the years on the BBC starting with Mexico 68. The image of Bob Beamon smashing the World Record in the Long Jump was iconic. Even more so was the Smith and Carlos salute. David Hemery winning the 400m Hurdles. Then in Munich1972 the horror of the Israeli athletes being taken hostage, and then killed, Mary Peters winning the Pentathlon and Mark Spitz what an icon. Montreal 1976 was Brendan Foster bronze in 10,000m. Mum and I would be up all night watching everything. Mum’s absolute favourite of all time was and still is of course Daley Thompson.
So when I was lucky enough to get 3 tickets for the Athletics on August 9th 2012 I couldn’t wait to tell my Mum that she would be there. She was literally over the moon.
For the last year she has been bursting to get to the Olympic Stadium. Today is the day we are there together. Stratford is about a mile from Leyton where Mum and Dad were born. Today my Mum’s dream of attending the Olympic Games is realised and it’s on her doorstep. This is what it is all about. Citius, Altius, Fortius.