IoS letters, emails & online postings (12 August 2012)

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The Independent Online

Let's hope the memories of this year's London Olympics linger longer than the memories of last August's riots ("Memories are made of this", 5 August). The depressing gloom hanging over Britain after last year's riots has been replaced with pride in the incredible achievements of our athletes. Their warmth, charm and humility have been a refreshing change from the petulance of the nation's overpaid and underperforming footballers.

The Olympics have shown us what can be done when support and funding are available to turn ordinary people into inspirational medal winners. "It's time to have fun," said your article, and that's what we have been doing. Yes, there were the embarrassing debacles over empty seats and ticket websites that refused to work properly, but that hasn't stopped thousands of people from gathering together in Hyde Park and other public spaces to share this celebration of sport and humanity.

People now say they don't want the Olympics to end. Well, at least we have the Paralympics to look forward to, on track to be the first sold-out Games in their history. More inspiring stories, more heroes, more tears of joy. I can't wait.

Martha Wright

London W12

In Germany there is a general understanding of health which we do not witness in Britain. Germans have loads of amenity for outdoor activity, and cycle and jogging paths are a regular sight. Lord Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association, has started this ball rolling and seeks to press the issue of sport now while the iron is hot, but he represents elitism. It is not excellence we want, but the diversion of sport and the ready availability, the fun of it rather than the fist pumping menace and disregard of our opponent. If we never had another champion again but all our population was trim or mindful of their bodies, that would be enough.

We know what people are willing to put their bodies through in order to gain adulation: that is not sport. We know about sports psychology. But for all its attention to detail, the Olympics in London has done little for the infrastructure and availability of sport.


posted online

In our justifiable enthusiasm for the Games, and for the goodwill they have engendered, we should resist the temptation to return in schools to the misery for many of team sports. While our children should be more physically active, there are many ways of exercising, and enjoyably, that are not competitive – above all, dance.

The late Russell Harty would recall with lasting pain his experience as the class duffer when it came to forming teams. "Oh sir, no sir," the sporty boys would cry when instructed to pick the young Harty. "We had him last week, sir."

Odette Carter


I was expecting the unconventional IoS to publish the achievements of the "wooden spooners", those Olympians who tried their best but still came last. And why is there no tables of personal bests? Both of these would show the true spirit of the Olympics – participation is more important than winning.

Martin Collins

Wallsend, Northumberland

In his Olympic diary, Matt Chorley chides Channel 4 for referring to Team GB as "England" when several of their medal winners are Scots. However, on your television and radio page, Ben Walsh in his preview of Sunday evening's BBC Prom refers to Nicola Benedetti as "the fetching Italian violinist". She, too, is Scottish.

Paul Dormer


I agree with Matthew Bell that thanks to the Olympics, "It's a very good 17 days to bury bad news" (5 August). But as for saying "there's never been a better time to bring back hunting and scrap Trident2", many of us don't think that the latter would be bad news!

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Now all she needs to do is learn how to fly and wear a red cape: Jessica Ennis – Superwoman!

Jimmy Bates

Ledbury, Herefordshire

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