Page 8 - Moravian Messenger - October 2021
P. 8

One more Grandstand View It was was nine years ago this month that my last Grandstand View was was published in in in the Messenger The London Olympic Games Games and and Paralympic Games Games had recently taken place in in Stratford and and I wrote at at at the the the time how 'the mood of the the the nation was given a a a tremendous uplift ' And now nine years later another Olympic and Paralympic Games has taken place Tokyo 2020 happened in in 2021 postponed by a a a a a a a a a a a a a year as as we we all know because of the the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic which swept the the the world It came very close to to the the the the Games being cancelled completely as as as many many in in in Japan as as as well as as as in in in in many many other parts of the the the world called for a a a a a a a a a a a a a halt to to proceedings I'm sure everyone had mixed feelings about this but the the organisers persevered and and the the Games got under way with a a a a a a a a a a a multitude of 'bubbles' empty stadiums and and many memorable moments In 2012 the the the the British nation received received an an an uplift but here in 2021 it it was was the the the the peoples of the the the the world that that received received the the the the uplift that that was was desperately needed after eighteen months or or or more of battling the pandemic The Paralympics that followed were yet again a a a a a a a a a triumph of human endeavour with athletes pushing themselves to to to the the the limits to to to fulfil the the the Olympic motto of 'Citius Altius Fortius' (Faster Higher Stronger) I'm sure that each of of you you who followed the Games will have your own particular memories of of Tokyo 2020 in 2021 Our radio alarm clock was tuned in to Radio 5Live and and we began each day with with Mark Chapman Rachel Burdon and and their team bringing us up up to date with with the the the the the overnight action from the the the the the other side of of the the the the the the world Their coverage was was superb The The exuberance of of Steve Bunce at at the the the Taekwondo and the the the Boxing was was a a a a a a a a a a a a perfect start to to each day Commentators were working from from home For example we we had Jonathan Agnew 'Aggers' from from Test Match Special in in in in a a a a a a a a a a a converted loft in in in in his house commentating on on on on on the equestrian events via television monitors and computer links to to to to to the the venues in in in Tokyo Victoria Pendleton was able able to to to to give us expert analysis of the the track cycling from her kitchen table In all sports we had similar scenarios What highlights stuck in in my mind? Let me me mention just a a few Tom Daley knitting his his his way to to diving gold gold He has has deserved his his his golden reward with with all that he has has had to to contend with with in in in his his his young life Charlotte Dujardin and her horse Gio (or Pumpkin as he he he is is also known) mesmerising us in in in in the dressage ring The delight of Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi on being given joint gold medals in in in the men's high jump Gold medals for GB in both the men's men's and women's modern pentathlon Jason and Laura Kenny enjoying golden success in in the the velodrome What a a a a a a a a a a a a delightfully pleasant couple they are Watch out for Albert Louie Kenny in the the the velodrome at at at the the the 2040 games A BMX 360o backflip to to secure a a a a gold medal for GB's Charlotte Worthington Max Whitlock for a a super impressive pommel routine Having the the opportunity to watch the the coverage of so so many so- called minority sports which we won't see again on on our TV screens until Paris 2024 But above all to to see the the the sheer joy of the the the Fijians in both the the the men's men's men's and women's rugby sevens A memorable tournament ended with the the the the men's men's men's team retaining their Olympic title after beating the the the the the the New Zealand All Blacks in in in in in in in the the the the the the final Hazel Irvine and and Ugo Monye were covering the the the the medal ceremony from the the the the BBC studio in Salford Ugo and Hazel were rendered speechless as they watched the the the the Fijian team team take part in in in in their their huddle The team team came together to to to enjoy their their victory in in in in the the the the the the the singing of of an an an anthem while silence descended on on the the the the the the the BBC studio studio The pictures of of the the the the the the the tearful players continued until the the the the the cameras returned to to to the the the the the studio studio where Hazel managed to to to to gather her her her thoughts 'Wow we're privileged to to to to be able to to to share that that ' ' ' ' Ugo was was also struggling for words 'That was was powerful People will always try and tell you that that sport is just a a a game ' There was was no no hoarse shouting no no silent mouthing This was was loud harmonic beautiful and sincere singing of the the anthem 'We have overcome' It's not an an an anthem that celebrates the the the glory of sport And there is more than a a a a a a a single triumphal line We have overcome We have overcome By the the blood of the the lamb And the the word of the the Lord
A quotation from Revelation 12:11 I see echoes of of the the hymns of the 18th century Moravian Church The Fijian team not only won Olympic gold they know of the the greater victory that lays ahead and what has secured it it Whilst the world was witnessing a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a memorable Olympic moment how many grasped this poignant reminder of joyful significance and wonder Here's to Paris Paris 2024 and the the centenary of of the the Paris Paris 1924 'Chariots of of of Fire' Olympic Games may the the the joyful Fijians still be at the the the top of of their game Br David Newman

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