Olympic Legacy must not be sport.
Having approached the Olympics full of cynicism and frustration at the decimation of arts funding and actual economic reality in East London, I admit to being affected not only by some of the competitive drama and personal stories but in particular by the joy of the crowds and behaviour of all the helpers (volunteers, transport workers, police and soldiers). It appears painfully obvious that people love to rise to the challenge of being good to each-other if only provided with the opportunity, so thank you Lord Coe! The vibe in Stratford was fantastic, which strangely enough is why the Olympic Legacy must not be sport!
I propose simply that the Olympic Legacy should instead be a national commitment to a collective recognition of accomplishment and self-realisation in all fields – sport, the arts and public service etc. The Olympics not only demonstrated individual and national accomplishment in sport but also ritualised the deeper potential for human empathy and connection through mythological references (and mediocre pop music). The fact that so many people “got it” is the important issue and this collective altruistic impulse must surely be extended and harnessed throughout our society, not restricted to the base impulse art of winning and losing. Well done Jessica, but remember the nurses, doctors and violinists too.
Have a look at this, quite synchronistic that the European Arts ministers are meeting in Edinburgh this week… click here