Poetry Champions: Jamaica is the coolest place on the planet
27 August 2012 / 0 Comments
Karen Winyard from our Poetry Champions the Not Scary Poetry Group tells us how her opinion of the Olympics changed during August 2012:
It's been a long time coming. The last time I enjoyed the Olympics I was a young girl captivated by Olga Korbut's beauty and grace. Now a middle aged ex-pat Londoner I hardly dared hope London 2012 would be anything special. There have been negatives - the opening and closing ceremonies were patchy in their brilliance - and the shame of those prohibitively expensive empty seats. But OMG, I loved it warts and all.
Dignity and beauty
Forget the problems of legacy and finance and just revel in the emotional tide that swept over us. I was ridiculously moved to tears by the dignity and beauty of the athletes marching in, planting their flags and that amazing cauldron. It was fantastic to see women's boxing (though I hate boxing) and women athletes from nations whose teams were previously all-male.
For me the best part of watching the games was the irrelevance of nationality. The individual journeys of the athletes were important. I was as thrilled by Anna Chicherova winning the high jump as I was by Jessica Ennis. Jamaica is officially the coolest place on the planet and Johan Blake's performance in the relay was beyond belief. The whole two weeks had such a great vibe, and suddenly 'multiculturality' ceased being a joke and began to mean something.
What it means to be British today
London 2012 spoke to me about what it means to be British today, and what we are striving to become as a nation rich in cultural diversity. We've a long way to go, but at least we're trying. The memory that will last longest? Mo Farah's smile; he sums it all up for me. Now I can't wait for the Paralympics, bring it on. One question remains though, am I really the only person who loathes those wretched mascots?
Meet our Poetry Champions who are celebrating the Olympics by reading, reviewing and blogging about the Winning Words anthology and sharing their favourite poems and Olympic themed stories.
If your reading group is reading poetry or Olympic themed books, get in touch to tell us your stories.
Photo credit: ianpatterson99 used under creative commons license.