Whilst enjoying a quiet moment, Nicki contemplated the success of the British team at the recent Olympic Games in Rio.
I was hooked by the Olympic Games. I was in total awe of the level of talent, determination and will to succeed that was shown by the athletes. Great Britain finished in second place overall with 67 medals, their highest tally at an overseas Olympics and their best medal haul in 108 years. Not bad!
The recent successes across a variety of sports have enabled UK Sport, the body responsible for distributing government funds to Olympic sports, to declare on the final day of competition in Rio that Britain was now a ‘sporting superpower’.
Only 20 years ago, Britain was in 36th place in the Atlanta Olympics medal table; their entire team securing only a single gold between them. The arrival of the National Lottery in 1994 and the government’s decision at that time to allocate significant streams of its revenue to Olympic sport set in motion a funding spree unprecedented in British sport.
The vast increase in funding aside, there has to be more to the success of an Olympic athlete, doesn’t there? Maybe a steadfast commitment to their chosen sport and the power in their belief that they can succeed? What starts off as a dream, with sheer grit and determination alongside great coaching and a gruelling training programme, will hopefully become a reality. The importance of belief as a vital tool for success has long been recognised and documented; the ‘I can win’ attitude that generates the enthusiasm, power, skill and energy needed to achieve goals. Some of our most successful Olympic athletes have demonstrated this skill in abundance. As Mo Farah, Britain’s most successful Olympic track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medallist said,“no matter what or where you come from, if you believe in something and work hard, you can achieve it”.
The Olympics are proof if we need it that anything is indeed possible with the right tools and mindset! Roll on Tokyo 2020!