And so it came to pass that the once in a lifetime summer came and went. And let’s be fair, with the exception of the football at either end (be realistic, no-one really cares about overpaid prima donnas), it was an astounding summer of achievement, dedication and hard work, not just from the athletes involved but from everyone behind the scenes as well. So now there is just a feeling of emptiness, almost a hangover from the massive party that has been going on since Wimbledon started.
What the last three months or so have done though is given everyone something with which to forget the mess we are actually still in. Or so we thought – when 80,000 people can simultaneously boo a senior politician on a world stage, then maybe we haven’t all forgotten about how little this government has done and is doing about the economy. The time is right now for individuals to take a lesson from the athletes that have so excited and entranced us.
Much is made of the support that our athletes get from various corners, but most of their success is down to their own efforts, their own hard work and drive. The sports that we have done well in this summer are individual events – even the rowing or some of the cycling events are a collection of individuals working together for a common goal. There is nowhere to hide – unlike the football, where everyone is out to blame everyone else. Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, David Weir, Ellie Simmonds, Jonnie Peacock, Andy Murray – all are exceptionally talented individuals, but all have endured seemingly crushing blows, only to bounce back better and stronger than before.
The British economy can do the same, but only if all the individual cogs in the wheel work together. That means management having the balls to back their own judgement and desires, the workforce to put aside petty differences and the banks and investors to stop sitting on their hands. One company expanding creates jobs, wealth and security; ten creates a wave. The more jobs there are created, the better the quality of candidates looking for jobs and the more jobs are created. Why are there so many teenagers out of work? Because the jobs that they would normally have applied for aren’t there because they are still being filled by the people who started in them five years ago and who haven’t progressed upwards because the “next step” isn’t there.
It is down to all of us to drive the UK economy forward; if we each do our bit then we can use the summer 2012 feelgood factor to get us out of this mess. That should be the Olympic legacy.