Posts filed under ‘Olympics’

News Hour?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I was glued to the Olympics. I love sport and the Olympics holds a very special place in my heart. I remember watching as a young child, one spectacular memory being David Hemery at the 1968 Mexico games. I am from a large family and I remember all of us watching the race and seeing my father getting quite excited as he shouted him to the line. I thought at the time if athletes could hear the cheers of the television audience they would break stadium/country/world records every time.

London 2012 was therefore a thing of joy for me. I cheered every medal I saw, jumping in my living room as Mo, Sir Chris, Jessica, Charlotte, Laura, Alistair and all the other winning athletes lifted Team GB and NI to third in the Medal table. Like many others I shed a few tears as all the hard work paid off. I was irritated by the oft-used term ‘only a silver’ and ‘only a bronze’. Those who apologised for not winning gold? Please don’t apologise to me or anyone else, your achievements are amazing.

I love the thought of many children watching and being inspired to want to do the same. That for me is the legacy of the games. It is not an easy path to take. Many will struggle to hit the heights but it will give them discipline and work ethic to take through life.

However, there is one issue I had through the entire Games, news coverage. Not the coverage of the Olympics itself, I applaud the BBC for their broadcasting throughout. I salute Clare Balding and Michael Johnson in particular, common sense and knowledge make for great commentary. My issue was the limited coverage given to other news during news broadcasts.

The real world doesn’t go away when we have a huge event like the Olympics. Real life in all its glory and horror still goes on but it would have been difficult to get enough information when more than ten minutes of a fifteen minute broadcast was taken up by the Olympics. The only item I saw take the ‘top spot’ for the entire period was the search for Tia Sharp and then the sad, sad news of her death. My thoughts go to those who loved her.

I suggest to everyone that they search for Syria on their local news site. The resignation of Kofi Annan was in my opinion a huge blow to making progress. News from the 12th August tells us that the Arab League had postponed a planned meeting to discuss the crisis in Syria. No reason was given for the postponement. The US and Turkey are working together to assist the opposition to the current regime. William Hague also pledged assistance without weapons to the rebel forces in Syria. However, the Government in situ has firm support from other Governments. I don’t know if we are heading for some kind of stand-off but worry that the people being attacked are stuck in the middle. Talk of chemical weapons and mass bombings are frightening.

I don’t shout ‘invade’, that is a dangerous path that has been stepped on before. But what is the best path? I live in a country that has been badly affected by tribalism, I see the same threading through the news stories. Are our origins so important that those who do not share them become nothing? Are those who do not share our beliefs mere collateral? Are power and religion the only things that matter to people? I believe in freedom to live and worship but believe the right to do so is based on allowing all others to do the same without fear or penalty. I am now in a quandary. I am scunnered hearing about diplomacy and want to see action. However, the action only takes us down that same road again. Where do we go from here, I would love someone wiser than me to tell me. Is there an answer? I don’t like the thought of this being the only solution

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.


August 15, 2012 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

Who Do You Want to Carry the Torch?

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I was watching the BBC Breakfast News this morning and saw Lord Coe talking about the Olympics. Sport again from Lesley, I hear you say. Well, yes and no. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@LesleyAlmost in case you are wondering) will know that I love sport. I have blogged about my love of football and am saving Rugby for the World Cup later this year. I am a huge fan of the Olympics and am checking my online accounts almost daily in the hope that I have been successful in getting the tickets I requested. I will be glued to the television when the Olympics are on, switching between rowing and cycling and archery and athletics and and and…..

However, today’s blog is not about the sport itself, it is about the carrying of the torch. I think it is a brilliant idea to take nominations  from the public for torch-bearers as the Olympic flame visits all areas of the United Kingdom. We all talk about inclusion these days, it is one of those buzz-words in danger of losing its meaning under the weight of all the business-speak that has crept into everyday use. I like inclusion, to me it implies welcome, building communities and society, the areas we may lose sight of in these harsh financial climes.

It is my hope that the London Games will be massive, I want them to be successful, fun and heartwarming. I know about the scandals in sport and the concerns on the inherent drug culture. I accept there are potential cheats out there but my optimistic (naive?) nature feels that most sportsmen are just that, sporting and honest. I love the pursuit of excellence, whether it be in business, the arts, charity, academia, sport and countless other fields If you strive for excellence, have the talent and that little slice of luck that means you succeed then I applaud you regardless of your field.

I also think the London Games Committee’s idea to ask for ‘locals’ to carry the torch in each region will generate its own buzz. How better to pull people into the experience than asking them to nominate/participate in that rite that builds the excitement to the opening ceremony and the Games themselves. It is a little touch of genius. So, I wonder, will you consider nominating someone for this honour? Will you get involved and feel a part of the whole experience? I love the idea of nominating young people for this. I am going to think seriously about this and talk to my children to see if they feel there is someone who would love the chance to take part. I hope you do too. Please check out the London Olympics site and have a look. It doesn’t matter if you are not UK based and won’t be nomimating. Look at the concept, think about how you could adapt this to something that is local and special to you…..

For reference, the link to the Carrying the Olympic Flame is – Is there someone you know would love the chance to take part?

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.


May 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm 2 comments


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