EVENTS of London 2012 may, perhaps, be a fading memory for many of us, but for those who were part of the vast crowds who sampled the atmosphere, the enthusiasm, the patriotism, from the opening ceremony through victory celenbrations involving home heroes to the closing scenes, these were moments that will not easily be forgotten.
Baron de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic movement, said “the Games were about taking part – not just about winning”.
In truth, to see men and women of every race, creed and colour coming together in sporting events was in sharp contrast to the sad troubles of Syria, Afghanistan and other troubled areas.
The late Pope John Paul II said: “Your sporting achievements are a sign of your great human capabilities.
“You do not allow yourself to be overcome by difficulties but are determined to conquer them. In this you show great courage and great gifts of mind and will.”
These gifts are God-given, of course, and many athletes were quick to acknowledge this, from those who briefly crossed themselves to the African runner who carried in her vest a picture of the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus, to Mo Farah who after his two outstanding victories was quick to go down on his knees to give praise and thanks to God.
MIKE VAN DER WEYDEN
St Norbert’s Roman