In Britain there are certain things that indicate that Summer is approaching, such as the Cheltenham Festival or the Grand National. Horse racing takes centre stage in offices and pubs as tips are shared and sweepstakes are entered into with everyone having their opinion on who will win. Jockeys such as Sir AP McCoy and Frankie Dettori have become household names but there is one thing that their sport does not allow them to achieve, an Olympic medal. There is of course, Equestrian at the Olympic Games and the story of Nick Skelton is one that everybody, young or old, should be aware of.
Many young children grow up with dreams of becoming a professional sports person. These dreams can even change, as they did for me, between wanting to play professional football, golf, cricket or anything else for that matter. The real key to fulfilling a dream is dedication and dedication to playing just one sport is something that I never had. When the dream of being a sporting hero eventually fades we follow a different career path. That is unless you are Josh Lambo who, after failing as a professional footballer for FC Dallas, has ended up in the NFL. I know what you're thinking, it's a weird world that we live in right?
It is now December 2016 and in sporting terms that means that the BBC Sports Personality of the Year is almost upon us and this year it has an extended list of nominees. This is an event that I look forward to every year as a celebration of British sporting achievement and I always make sure that I cast my vote. Over the next two or three weeks just about everybody will have their say on who they think should win the main award and so why should it be any different here? Although current sporting affairs are not usually what are covered here at TSV, 2016 has been such a good year that it would be daft to ignore that.
It is fair to say that when it comes to Olympic success, Great Britain excel in the Summer version of the games. As ice and snow is not readily available in the British Isles it figures that we would not feature highly on the medal table in the Winter Games. Since the introduction of the Summer Olympics, Team GB has won 847 medals, including 263 golds. Quite an amazing achievement! In contrast to our Summer record, the Winter Olympics have provided British athletes with just 26 medals, 10 of which were of the golden variety. Perhaps ice and snow just aren't our thing?
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro were hailed as a triumph for Team GB and rightly so. 366 athletes travelled to Brazil to take part in the games and although this was a decrease from the 542 competitors in London, the medal count actually increased. There were many surprises along the way as you would expect from an Olympic Games, but one medal in particular that stole the nation's hearts, was the Gold medal won by the GB Women's Hockey Team.
I am certain that once upon a time we all dreamt of greatness and more often than not that will have included fame and fortune. No matter where you grew up I am sure, at some point in life, you have had a dream of representing your country at football, winning a tennis grand slam, becoming an Olympian or some other grand achievement. For a chosen few that dream is realised. These people reach the pinnacle of their sport whilst we spectate and those years of hard work, the blood, sweat and tears, all become worth it.