Now I’m a mum, it’s great to see so many strong role models for my little cherub to aspire to in the future. In my day it was huge news when Sally Gunnell picked up gold for the 400m hurdles at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. But now there are so many more female athletes to be proud of, we’re almost spoiled for choice – and I’m certainly not complaining.
Dame Kelly Holmes’ double gold in Athens 2004 was remarkable but now it begs belief whether every single female athlete who won a medal at Beijing will be made a Dame, there were so many. Remember the ‘three birds in a boat’, Rebecca Romero and Nicole Cooke? I struggled to recall their names – but that doesn’t mean their success is any less than say, Rebecca Adlington or Victoria Pendleton.
So it’s no wonder articles are popping up like today’s 'Win the medals or else, warns Britain warns top athletes', in the Saturday Times, saying athletes are under more pressure than ever to perform at London 2012. It’s a real shame to think that sports won’t get funding if London’s athletes don’t bring home the medals and the 'kudos' effectively. What happened to the saying ‘it’s the taking part that counts’ (and other well verses phrases we tell our children)? We’ve become such a results driven world and this is the side of the fairy tale that won’t help the girls and boys of tomorrow. Take away the funding and you take away the possibility of dreams.