Thursday, 9 August 2012

Is the Olympics making us less British?

In the age where TV is king, I go against the grain by not really enjoying it that much. Sure, there are several series which I am addicted to and can not bare to miss an episode of but I very rarely sit down and flick through the channels to finally settle on a timewasting mundane programme that actually started about 20 minutes ago. (That is, unless I have something more important that I should be doing such as an imminent university essay to complete and then, of course, I do absolutely ANYTHING to distract myself. And films are another issue entirely...).

The thing which scares me most about TV is the huge amount of influence that it has over children and teenagers. Especially when you think about the celebrities and fictional characters that they are seeing on a daily basis, and therefore using as role models. People such as Jordan and the vile individuals who are dragged from the depths of society and plonked onto daytime television via Jeremy Kyle, for instance. All in all, people who are not exactly the best mentors for impressionable young people.

But, happily, my opinion is starting to change as of this summer, thanks to...the Olympics. Not only does it bring together our nation in a way that we don't see very often (except during royal events and when we are complaining about the weather) but suddenly there are people on the television who teenagers can safely aspire to be, that won't lead to drink or drug problems at a later date. The athletes that we are now frequently seeing on our screens such as Jessica Ennis, Chris Hoy and Tom Daley actually promote admirable achievements that are very attainable if you work hard, practice and exercise - shock horror.

The nation as a whole has embraced the Olympics in such a way that has made GB almost unrecognisable. Suddenly we are no long complaining about the weather, pushing in front of each other in queues and tutting about the general state of our country. Instead we are proud of it. For the first time in years. We joyfully boast about the number of medals we have achieved, causing athletes to actually apologise if they don't win one. Since when did this happen? We are normally so accustomed to losing. Yet here we are, sitting reasonably comfortably at number 3 of the medals table behind America and China. And, of course, if you take the medal to population ratio, we are by far and away and the best. A very unusual accomplishment that we are not used to celebrating. Maybe our national identity can now begin to change as well.

Like what I say?

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