“I am the greatest; I said that even before I knew I was.” These are the words of arguably the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali. He gave everything to be the best at what he did.
With Gold, Silver and Bronze up for grabs in London, is it ok to strive for less than the best? In my opinion it’s not. That’s the opinion of someone who is not a world class athlete that has not earned the right to be part of the greatest show on earth. I absolutely respect each competitor who has worked hard to be part of London 2012 and has been better than many of their competitors. I will never be able to say that I am an elite athlete. However, I truly believe that it is all about striving to be the greatest and not sitting back and being happy with almost the best.
I am sure Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah did not think Silver or Bronze would have been good enough. They gave everything for Gold and achieved it. We seem to live in a time where mediocre or less than greatness is seen as acceptable. In football it seems that teams who are capable of greatness accept that all they will challenge for is a top four spot and a place in the Champions league. Maybe it is a British trait, maybe we are too polite to say ‘I want to be the best and I have absolutely no interest in going out there and taking part to finish second’.
London 2012 was set up to ‘Inspire a Generation’. Should we allow the next generation to believe that it is acceptable to lose or should we be saying strive for greatness and be the very best? The opening ceremony showed the world why we are ‘Great’ Britain, it was something we should all be very proud of. This Olympic Games should be something that inspires all of us, not just athletes but the everyday person to wake up and give everything we have to be the best at what we do. We will all fail at some point, but that should only drive us to succeed.