Inspiration from the Olympics – 3
Day 15 and I get to be at the Olympic stadium with family and friends to watch Usain Bolt, Mo Farrah and a host of other top athletes. I arrived early, had a few hours to spare, so after bullying a couple of policemen for a photo, I set about my other goal; to take a picture with the Jamaican flag.
Why? Rewind four years and Usain Bolt gets world attention with spectacular wins and world records in the 100m and 200m. Now in 2012, he’s done it again, and in his own words, is ‘a living legend’. Not quite sure I agree, but hey, that’s the ego of the man.
But Usain Bolt has done his country proud, and I wanted a piece of the action, after all Usain’s great great . . . great grandfather could have been mine as well. Besides, I am black and if I draped the Jamaican flag round my shoulders, who’s to know that I am not from that great country? (I really am Nigerian, but let’s not even discuss that yet.)
It was interesting then, days later, listening to Olympics Tonight, hearing Gabby Logan say exactly the same thing. Everyone wanted a piece of the Jamaican action. Why?
We all want to be on the winning side. Mr Bolt is the Mr Cool of the track, he is also the winner and does not pretend to be anything other than himself. It’s great to hear the Jamaican accent in his interviews, the accent is now cool, so everyone wants a piece of the action.
Reminds me of the stories in the gospels, where everyone seemed to want to be with Jesus, apart from the moaners and religious folks, everyone seemed to think he was pretty cool. I think Christianity is pretty cool; great message on grace and acceptance, so you would think people would be flocking to be on the same side with God. Somehow, we Christians seem to come across as boring, weird, judgemental and miserable and very few people want our piece of the action (mostly in the west).
So what can we learn from Usain? Maybe if we stuck our necks out, showed who we really are and didn’t pretend to be like the world; maybe if we ran our races with dedication and commitment, injected some humour and not take ourselves too seriously; maybe if we kept an eye on the goal and did not lose focus, do you think people may want to get a piece of our action? What do you think?