Archives for August 2012

Team GB – Something to Celebrate in More Ways Than One!

From the moment I saw Danny Boyle's inspired, quirky Olympics opening ceremony I was gripped by a patriotic fever that has been increasing as fast as Team GB's medal tally. I am so proud to be British and I wish I was there to experience it all, rather than here in my adopted country of Italy!

It's a bit like the “cricket match test” that used to be bandied around as a true barometer of how loyal you felt towards an adopted country. Who would you support in an international cricket match? Your home country or the one you now call home?

Well, for me there is absolutely no contest. I yell and roar for Team GB like a demented banshee, whereas I have no idea whatsoever of Italy's medal scores.

True Heroes

And there is an additional and positive effect, apart from the feel-good glitter of gold medals. There is the glimmer of a chance that the new GB sports heroes – people who have spent long, hard, thankless hours slogging away, getting up early, giving up partying and socialising for months on end – are replacing the vacuous famous-for-being-famous “celebrities” in the hearts and minds of the British public and media.

I hope the current clutch of successful medal winners become the new role models. That people become heroes for working hard and reaching goals they can be proud of rather than just piling on the slap and getting hammered or snogging someone in the latest reality show. Because that is one part of my native culture that I dislike intensely and is really nothing to be proud of at all.

In his post gold medal interview, cycling superstar Bradley Wiggins (so cool!) said he despised the British obsession with celebrating people who have achieved absolutely nothing and that he had no wish to be a “celebrity” himself. I cheered from the sofa! I loved him even more for adding that he was “slightly tipsy” having had his first vodka and tonic in nine months!

So well done to everyone in Team GB, winners and non-winners (you certainly aren't losers). You have been able to do what politicians and pundits haven't. You have made sport cool and you have stuck a gold plated rocket deep into the flimsy foundations of “celebrity culture”.

Bravissimi!