I never thought I’d get hooked on the Olympics. I didn’t apply for tickets, and now wish I had, and I was on holiday when it all started. Admittedly, the tweets about the opening ceremony had me intrigued, and when we got home, it was the first thing I watched on iPlayer. A few tears were shed, and that was that: Hooked! I’ve been watching it every day since, gripped by sports I never cared about before, goose bumpy whenever I hear Chariots of Fire.
My husband is a keen cyclist. He managed to score a gig filming the Wiggle Super Series for two years running, met up with someone he met on Twitter for a very early morning cycle, and he rides to work every day. I can’t say watching him peddle off every morning (lately in the rain an awful lot) made me want to join him, but I did admire his reluctance to use the car, even when he came home soaked through to his skin – a fair weather cyclist he is not.
Before the Olympics began this year, he put on a documentary about Victoria Pendleton, and I watched it whilst tweeting and blogging. I loved it, she’s fab, and so enthusiastic and dedicated. I switched off the TV with a bit of an urge to get on a bike and have a bit of a pootle around the park.
She certainly made me keen to hire some bikes whilst we were on holiday. Then, the other day, I switched on the Olympics whilst the women’s keirin was on, and watched her win gold for Great Britain. GOLD! The shiniest one! I was in a bar at the time, drinking cocktails, and the first thing I thought (after I screeched and pointed and whooped in the general direction of the big screen) was that I need to get me a bike, and the second was that although it looks damn tough, I’d really like to have a bash at the velodrome at Calshot.
Two parents who love to ride bikes can only mean exciting things for our children, too. The Olympic motto is “inspire a generation”. It really has, and I now have a new role model, and my husband might get a new cycling buddy, so thanks Victoria, you bloody rock.