Next year, the Olympic Games will be held in Britain, in London. I think this is really exciting and I will definitely be applying for tickets. I hope I'll be able to spectate at some of the free events too - particularly the marathon and cycling road races.
However, not everyone shares my enthusiasm. We Brits are Gold medal ranking moaners - we love to be cynical about this kind of event, and decry the waste of money and work going into the Olympics. There are plenty of journalists and commentators who can't wait for something to go wrong, so they can laugh at the idiot idealists who thought we could host an Olympic games. There are also many members of the public who complain that we can barely afford it, in the current economic climate.
It is hard to argue that spending millions on sporting arenas is a better use of government money than putting it into hospitals. But there is an argument that in difficult times, it is more important than ever for people to have a diversion, and something to celebrate. This is why we need the arts as well as sport.
I was thinking about all this while I was running this morning, having read an article in the Observer newspaper on Sunday. There was an interview with Martine Wright, a victim of the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005. She was severely injured and had both her legs amputated. Since then though, she has been skiing, learnt to fly, done a parachute jump, got married (and walked down the aisle), and had a son. She has also joined a volleyball team, and is now training for the Paralympics.
Her story is inspirational and incredible. She tells of how sport has changed her life, given her back her confidence, and given her goals to aim for. It's a testament to how important sport can be in our lives.
It's only in the last few years that I've started to participate in sport (in my own small way!), but it has given me so much. Running has made me fitter and healthier, but it's also made me feel more confident and happier. Us humans are built to be active! Sport can be good for us in so many ways, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that next year is a great Olympic games. (However, I have to admit that this logo is total pants...I am still a cynical Brit after all).