Some names stick in your mind after watching athletics as a kid; like Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell, Colin Jackson to name just a few. No doubt today’s youngsters will recall Wiggins, Ennis and Daley when they think back on the summer of 2012.
Many athletes move into coaching or pitch for a successful TV career after retirement. Colin Jackson made his public debut as a hurdler, but more recently became a household name for his role as a sports commentator and taking part in reality dance show Strictly Come Dancing.
At a sport awards event in Hertfordshire a few years ago, I met Colin. A rabble of people pounced to ask him their questions. He listened to every question, responding genuinely, and I dare say won over everyone in the room.
I was pretty pleased to be able to ask some of the burning questions I’d had since I found out he was attending. I’d stake a guess he’s often been asked the same questions time and again, but it didn’t show when he answered each question with enthusiasm and honesty.
That alone made me realise in order to inspire others, you have to be patient, open and honest. Although my agenda isn’t necessarily to inspire others, I can only hope in time to hone those qualities, instead of whining if I’m asked the same question more than once!
I never have met Sally Gunnell or Linford Christie, but I’m sure they would be just as interesting!
Tonight the best of luck must go out to Tom Daley and Mo Farah! Go Team GB!