Be Proud To Be British
I know it’s being said a lot this summer, what with the Olympics, the Jubilee and so on, but today I really felt it. I felt proud to be British. And it was an emotion that didn’t come on in an expected way. I felt the warm glow of British pride as I was on the cross trainer watching the British Show Jumping. Granted, the ‘warm glow’ may have been the 90+ degrees of heat I was running in, my T-shirt clinging to my back as I tried to stop myself from collapsing from a mere few minutes of exercising – however, no, I’m certain the pride was because of the calibre of horse riding/jumping our British team showcased. I squealed with delight at our success in Greenwich Park and nearly burst into tears when Claire Balding interviewed the Show jumpers and just looked so unbelievably proud and joyous herself. Especially as horse riding has been a huge part of her life.
What’s so special about the Olympics is that the focus is just on our ambition and success – and heart wrenching grace when we miss out on medals – and utter dedication to taking part in something as universal as sport. It’s a time when countries come together. Yes we are competing but we are also, more simply, watching the unstoppable ability of the human body no matter which country it comes from and even those competing congratulate and console one another when the scores come in. It’s a time for pride. Pride that our country is hosting such a fantastic Olympic game and pride in our GB Olympians. But even today, on the cross trainer, as I got unusually excited about a sport I didn’t even know I enjoyed, I still found myself – for a moment – egging the Dutch on to make it over the jumps. I wanted everyone to win. Everyone at the Games has worked harder than I could ever dream of and as clichéd as it is – they are all winners. For a few weeks, humans as remarkable machines of strength, endurance and skill are awarded and celebrated and while there’s still a lot shit going on in the world, for a moment, that can be put aside to celebrate differing countries successes in a variety of sports. I’m proud to be British because today, we rocked the Show Jumping and one of the jumpers, Nick Skelton, never thought he’d ride again after breaking his neck in 2000 and today he did it! Another Olympic triumph and a story of never giving up. If ever there were a time to be proud of our country, it is now.