Sunday, 3 August 2014

Glasgow 2014: My hopes for the legacy

It started with a heat wave and ended with a monsoon. Glasgow 2014: the party's more or less over. As I write Kylie (or someone who sounds an awful lot like her) is apparently doing a sound-check for her appearance at the closing ceremony. 

I'm a bit sad it's all over - although the neglected bits of my life: children, laundry, proper job etc will probably be glad of my attention. It's been amazing.

So proud. My boy and his pal on national telly drinking Irn-Bru!

The city has been buzzing. Locals and people from all over the world have met, celebrated the Games and come away having gained something. Glasgow has been scrubbed and primped as never before (or not since the Garden Festival, anyway). 

The sneery grump bags who promised mayhem, misery and mediocrity were silenced and some even changed their tune. The whole event from dancing tea cakes to the nail biting (and rain sodden) road race has been a triumph. 

But once the final banner has been taken down, the millions of barriers removed and the volunteer population taken off their uniforms for the last time, what then? Here's what I hope the games will leave behind?

The knowledge that sport is more than football. Hurrah! For these glorious few days we've revelled in a festival of all kinds of sport, individual and team. Normally if you asked if I liked sport I'd have thought of interminable tales of premiership and said: "Not really." Now I know different.

A sporting attitude to other supporters. All the way through there have been hearty cheers from supporters who travelled across nations for their teams, but there have also been loud and long encouragement for athletes whoever they are and wherever they came from. And it's been properly uplifting.

Clean streets. That cycling was amazing. How fast did they go down those wet cobbles from Park Circus? But wasn't it also amazing how smooth and flat the roads were? No potholes, no wonky manholes. Wouldn't be amazing if that lasted?

Feeling good about ourselves. Athletes, workers, volunteers and ordinary locals are rightly very proud of what's gone on here. And that's amazing, but it's An unaccustomed sensation. Feeling good about ourselves doesn't come readily and feels mighty strange. We're almost hoping something will go wrong because that slightly chippy defensiveness is familiar as a comfy blanket.

People make a place. People make Glasgow. But, actually, they make anywhere when they play nice, are patient, keep an eye on the big picture, and go the extra mile. That's what happened here - let's keep it up, everywhere. 

The investment won't stop here. Of course, it's cost a packet, these things do. However, a continued flow of hard cash is needed to ensure the next generation of sporting heroes can reach their potential. We also need it to keep the city looking tip top and to make those fantastic new facilities ring with fans' shouts - regularly - for years to come. Let's not forget that it's money well spent. 

The way to properly do inclusively. Para athletes performed right after able bodied ones exactly as it should be. No disability ghetto here. The Games, like life, are for everybody to play. 

But we don't need new words for things. I fervently hope that the use of 'medal' as a verb along with 'venueisation' vanish faster than Clyde toys off eBay. 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. It's made me proud to be Scottish. I loved the Games x


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