Tuesday 9 July 2013

Is Britain getting too good at sport?

What is happening with British sport?

I ask this question because it feels like we've reinvented ourselves in recent years.

No longer are we the heroic, plucky loser always falling short. We've now become ruthless, determined, hard-nosed winners!

Look at the evidence - there was last year's Olympic Games, third in the overall medal table, untouchable in cycling and rowing. There was 'Super Saturday' the greatest night in the history of British Athletics.

We've had our first ever Tour De France winner in Bradley Wiggins, and we could have a second this summer with Chris Froome.

In rugby the British Lions defeated Australia at the weekend to claim their first series win in 16 years, then on Sunday Andy Murray becomes the first men's Wimbledon champion since 1936! And lets not forget we've got a pretty decent cricket team who are favourites to retain the Ashes this summer.

Where did it all start going right?

I think in the past unlike other countries we haven't used sport as a way of defining our national character or self worth.

Compared to somewhere like Australia who have used sport to remind the world of their existence, sport in Britain didn't matter quite so much. We could play the game, occasionally win, generally lose but it didn't matter.

If you think about it, Britain is a nation obsessed with sport. We invented many of the most popular games in the world and for a relatively small nation we play a huge range of different sports.

If feels like something has changed though. As a country if you look at our resources and our passion for sport there's no reason why we can't dominate and win at certain sports, why just take part, why not be in it to win.

We're seeing this now and the success of our sports stars is creating a great feel good factor for the country.

Ok, Olympic champions and Wimbledon winners aren't going to improve the economy or solve various problems the country faces, but sport offers many inspiring lessons that we can all apply to our everyday lives. That's what I love about sport.

Despite all this new found sporting success, there is one elephant in the room. One sport that dominates over all others, yet continues to provide disappointment.

What is this sport? Have a think.

That's right, it could only be football. It's frightening to think what would happen to the country if England actually ever won something, but Football is the only sport letting us down now.

Despite our failings on the football pitch, the rest of British sport has shown us a new alternative as to what we can be as a sporting nation. I hope it continues.

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