What a fine piece by Virginia Moffatt (PN 2549) about the London Olympic Games. Most PN readers, I'd guess, had ambivalent feelings about the London Games – me included – but at heart they proved to be a celebration of 'The Family of Man' in all its forms.
I was a child during the 1948 games and followed them avidly on the wireless (radio).
In my memory the undoubted star was the Dutch athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen who won four gold medals and whose performance – unlike the disgraced US track star Marion Jones who won five gold medals at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 – remains unsullied.
However, the unasked question in all the coverage I listened to and watched was this: why was it necessary to stage the Olympic Games in order to regenerate an area of East London? It could have/should have happened anyway. What was lacking was political will and social solidarity.
Fanny at Wembley 1948
down the years
she runs and jumps
never a Flying Dutchman just
a truly Golden Girl
forever young forever first
she is the one
I remember most
As Virginia Moffatt observes, sport can, at its best, transcend and make us feel, and behave, better.
Even if this transcendence doesn't last beyond the Olympics, better then than not at all.