‘Proper legacy is harder than winning gold’
The G4S debacle, the diplomatic spat over the Korean flag, the crazy attempt to attach Olympic rings to the side of Edinburgh Castle. Who remembers any of that now?
The 2012 London Olympics have been a huge success. Few will forget Sir Chris Hoy’s incredible show of strength to win victory in the keirin, or Andy Murray’s thrashing of Roger Federer on Centre Court.
Measuring sporting success is, of course, straightforward. A quick glance at the medals table tells us that this has been the most successful Olympic games for Britain in more than 100 years.
But measuring value outside the sporting arena is a little more tricky.
Yes, the nation will have had a huge self-confidence boost from the Games and our stuttering economy is likely to benefit, but the sporting legacy of the Olympics is now what the nation and its politicians must focus on. The returns on that are not likely to appear on the medal table for a generation.
Previous studies have shown that the legacy argument rarely comes to fruition. Athens, for example, failed to build on the 2004 Games.
We must also remember that we live in a country where playing fields are still disappearing at an alarming rate, where are kids are more reluctant than ever to exercise and where obesity rates are some of the highest in the world.
The Olympics raise the question of funding not only for elite sport, but for public facilities and provision in schools.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced at the weekend that Lord Coe would become legacy “tsar” and that sports funding would be maintained. This should be welcomed. But proper legacy planning will need more than Coe. It will need a solid plan and an infrastructure of its own to ensure it is maintained past this political cycle, and it must be done with transparency and honesty.
Winning 29 gold medals was a great achievement, but compared with delivering a lasting legacy that will benefit the whole nation it was easy.
Alien to us
Do we have an answer today to one of the great unsolved mysteries?
Exactly what happened to Bob Taylor in Dechmont Law wood one night 33 years ago has kept the alien hunters and sceptics alike occupied for years.
Local man John Alison is the latter and says he has worked it all out – and it certainly did not involve little green men. Is it the answer or just more fuel for the debate?
Only one thing is for sure – the truth is out there.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 2 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West