The UK has already enjoyed an enormous amount of success at the 2012 Games, and the Paralympics promise more excitement in the coming weeks. Over the past fortnight, Team GB has earned medal after medal. In the pool, on the water, on a bike, on a horse, on the track, on the court, or in the ring – Team GB inspired the nation.
As the athletes would leave the area of competition, there would always be an eager BBC reporter waiting to interview them. The athlete would be asked about the event, how hard they worked for the result, and how they were feeling afterwards. The reporters wanted to capture these athletes in their moment of victory (or disappointment), and provide the audience with a glimpse of what makes an athlete into a champion.
Time and again, the athletes echoed the same message: thank you for all the support. Rather than speaking about their amazing talent, they paid tribute to the people who helped them to thrive. They thanked families who encouraged them, mentors who inspired them, coaches who believed in them, teammates who pushed them, and the fans that cheered them on. Even at the closing ceremony, a time for the athletes to celebrate their collective achievements, many of them could be seen with signs or scrolling messages on their iphones, thanking people for all the support.
Perhaps we find Olympic athletes so inspirational because they show us what extraordinary feats people can achieve through hard work and the right support. In short, Olympians show us what the human spirit is capable of. Although we can’t all run 100m in under 10 seconds, we can find greatness in our own lives with a little bit of help from our friends.
Our volunteer mentors are inspiring people who give their time to children who don’t get the same sort of support as these lucky athletes. With your help, more children can start to see their potential and achieve their goals. Why don’t you have a look at what our mentors do and think about whether you, or someone you know, could help a child to build a brighter future.