Taking Stock - August 13, 2012

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I’m sure I won’t be alone waking up this morning with a sense of disappointment that the spectacle of London 2012 is over.

But what a golden fortnight it has been.

And, I’m not just talking about goings on in and around the capital, where our athletes have been busy racking up a monster haul of medals.

Even the weather, at last, has played ball and we’ve enjoyed at least a few days of summer to accompany the magnificent spectacle of sport.

It’s certainly been a phenomenal ride.

My good wife has always struggled to understand the emotional side of sport but I’ve noticed even she’s been welling up at certain moments of Olympic magic. Me, well, I’ve been blubbing like a baby, patriotic tears pouring down my cheeks.

That’s the joy of The Games, I suppose, making sport, something I’ve always loved, accessible to an even wider audience.

It seemed like the whole nation, in unison, shouted “Come on Mo!” to roar our man down the last few 
hundred metres down that track to seal his 10,000m victory.

And, in the bar at Chester last Tuesday night covering Fleetwood Town, rival fans cheered together as Sir Chris Hoy bagged yet another goal for Blighty at the Velodrome.

Nobody seemed to have noticed the gates to the ground hadn’t opened because all the stewards were glued to the TV too.

I’m sure in the weeks and months to come our cycling and athletics clubs will be bombarded with calls from parents hoping to get their little ones on the road to Olympic gold.

And, thanks to the broad range of Olympic events, some of the lesser known sports will benefit too.

The Munchkin is nagging to start learning gymnastics.

In other households, thanks to the remarkable success of Jade Jones and Kayla Harrison, I’m sure there’ll be mums and dads scouring the web for local Taekwondo and Judo clubs.

There’s no doubting, beyond simply athletic achievement, the London games have been a massive success.

Those who moaned, who accused the Olympics of being a waste of money, who said they were just for London, surely must now have changed their tune.

The 2012 Olympics has been about far more than the chance to bag tickets for Olympic events.

It’s been a glorious opportunity to introduce sport to a whole new group of people.

And, if that gets people across the UK swimming, cycling, running, walking and jumping then we can truly say the Olympics have been for us all.

Now it’s up to those who fund the gymnastic classes, swimming lessons, martial arts clubs and anything else our youngsters might want to try out on the back of the games, to make sure everyone who wants to take part can.

I don’t know if The Munchkin is going to be a future Beth Tweddle, or whether our Girl Twin, a natural water baby, will ever follow in the wake of Rebecca Adlington.

But I’m glad, right now, the whole family is taking an interest in sport.

Inspire a generation? You bet!