Team GB and the Man in the Arena
John Major of Course
The achievements of Team GB at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics were spectacular. For any athlete to be able to achieve the level of getting into the National Squad and participating in an Olympic or Paralympic Games is an amazing achievement. To go up the ranks from local to regional and then national teams is very impressive.
However, when you get to the level of the Olympic or Paralympic Games you realise that you are competing against the rest of the world and I cannot imagine how daunting it must be to come up against athletes from every nation. The concept of competing against the best that the world has to offer and then win a gold medal is hard to grasp and when you look at the sheer number and diversity of athletes in Team GB who have gone on to do this, it is truly awe inspiring.
The Man In The Arena
There is a wonderful quote by President Roosevelt called The Man in the Arena:
“It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I like this quote because it stands up for those who are trying to do the right thing and make a difference.
Give Credit To The Policy Makers
When I look at this quote in terms of Team GB and the Olympics and Paralympics it is not the athletes that I think about when they talk about the man in the area.
There are few occupations for which this quote is more relevant to than politicians. It is all too easy to criticise ideas and policies but it takes a strong character to be able to stand up to the critics and push ahead with your plans.
I was very pleased to see a tribute to John Major whose decision it was to launch the National Lottery which has gone on to put significant investment into elite athletics. It is also interesting to see how the allocation of the funding has been instrumental in achieving the successes. I am sure at the time there were plenty of critics but look at what elite athletics has done for the country. It has swelled national pride and given a huge boost of morale to the whole country, particularly in these difficult times with our relationship with the European Union.
I do not think I could be a politician because I would find it hard to deal with the constant negativity they get, often from people who will only criticise and not put forward their own ideas or plans as to how things should be done.
Most People Are Trying To Do The Right Thing
I think that most people come to work and want to improve matters and no one is trying to deliberately make matters worse or bring harm or unhappiness to people.
The cosmetic surgery industry has a negative image that is often portrayed in the media, full of patients who want enormous boobs or massive fake lips who are being treated by cowboy doctors. I see a different side.
It has taken enormous personal investment to set up a clinic that provides the high level of service it does. I am trying to do the right thing and to provide a service to patients that can both enhance their quality of life and improve self-esteem.
So while there will always be people who will watch the strong man stumble I think we should perhaps spare a thought for the man in the arena.
By all means criticise and point out areas that need improvement but also give credit where it is due. Praise the accomplishments and the good deeds of those who are out there trying to make a difference.
So thank you John Major and very well done Team GB. Let us not forget the policy makers who are behind these monumental achievements.