I am sorry to say the Olympics has not really grabbed me this time as someone who was a reserve for the 1980 Moscow Olympics you would have thought I would think different, so why am I like this? First of all I have to admit is a bit of jealousy, not because I did not make it myself it is because I am too old to be even in with a chance. The Rolling Stones record “What a drag it is getting old” says it all but enough of me feeling sorry for myself, there are other reasons.
The Olympics of the 1980’s was a totally different concept and ideals we in GB were all amateurs and supposedly so was the rest of the World. Yet we all knew that the US had full time athletes in colleges, USSR, East Germany had full time athletes in the Military, so when a Brit won a medal against all the odds it was a great achievement. You competed to become an Olympic Athlete purely for the chance to become an Olympian rather then some altruistic few of your future. Already we see athletes parading in the press and media talking about becoming models, film stars, and commentators rather then concentrating on there performance in the Games. As for Beach Volley Ball that has become a sport purely for voyeurs, they have less on then a swimmer. With each competitor being allocated 15 condoms each free of charge one wonders if they will have the energy to compete.
I suppose it was inevitable that it would stop being an amateur games, now with millions going on athletes we should expect good results especially if winning medals is our only goal. Many of our Olympians have benefited from the vast amount of money put into them, Cycling, Rowing, Swimming and Gymnastics to name the top four but other sports have no come up with the goods, my own sport of Judo is one. Our best result was in 1972 when we won 2 bronzes and Silver from a team of 6 amateur Men next was 1992 when women were allowed to compete with 2 silvers and 2 bronzes. Yet according to the BJC Blog http://www.judo-forum.britishjudocouncil.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=543 which says “So with an investment of £20-£30 million over the last 4 years they think one medal is possible” rumour has it that the BJA has 90 people on the payroll in the 1970’s I believe they had 5 and a lot more people doing Judo. So has the money improved our medal prospect, UKSport expect 2 medals from British Judo so obviously it has not improved the sport. I hope the pundits are wrong and we come back with cotchful of Judo medals, with Judo at most probably at lowest ebb losing out to MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Sombo it needs a massive boost maybe some of that money should go into the clubs who are desperately trying to keep the sport alive.
Recent surveys have shown a massive drop in people doing sport, it was hoped that the London Olympics would see an increase in sport participation I do not believe this has happened I can only speak of my own Judo Club, 10 years ago we had 400 u16’s doing Judo Now we have 70 and I know many other sports are saying the same.
The whole Olympics is about corporate participation most of the good seats will go to politicians and corporate entertainment, the Olympics will cost the British Taxpayers Billions of pounds, yet many companies and individuals have become very rich over the whole process. It is yet to be seen whether the UK as a whole gain anything by it.
Is it not time we said the event is to big for one city maybe spread it over a whole country or maybe sub-divide in to several different categories like the Winter and Summer Olympic. You could have the Winter Olympics as it is now, the Summer Olympics could be for the outdoor events like Athletics, Rowing, Sailing, Archery, Shooting etc. and indoor Olympics like Judo, gymnastics, swimming etc. etc. this could be divided amongst 3 countries?
I hope the London Olympics is a success and we the country make a great deal of money and we see a lot more people participating in Sport, or am I hoping for to much?