So after all is said and done, Great Britain delivered brilliantly. The way the nation has pulled together to deliver arguably the greatest Olympics of our lifetimes gives us reason to feel extremely proud.
It is a journey our business here in Great Britain will never forget. The whole nation has been touched by the events of the past few weeks and months in some way or another and everybody has their own story to tell.
Being part of the London 2012 Olympic Games has given me many memories. Danny Boyle’s stunning opening ceremony. Jason Kenny’s sprint win practically lifting the roof off the VeIodrome. My children’s experience of the synchronised swimming at the Aquatics Centre.
It’s been an incredible way to cap my first 12 months in this role.
So what has made the Games so successful? The three main ingredients, I feel, have been funding, coaching and passion. It’s these things that our business can learn most from. Get the right mix of these elements and you will be well on your way to achieving something very rewarding.
Dedicating the right level of resource is equally important when you are setting yourself goals. Having seen first-hand the amount of planning that went into our support of the Games, the work carried out by the 70,000 Games Makers was outstanding. Their passion and enthusiasm was plain to anyone who visited the main Olympic hubs, and credit must be given how such a vast and diverse resource was managed.
The ever-present, ever-willing helpers up and down the country have been central to the Games, and we also sought them out across our business. While the public will have seen us as a partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games, they might not have seen our 600-strong venue operations team. Made up of company volunteers and spread across each of the venues, every member contributed to the Games’ success.
It is also important to remember that while the London 2012 Olympic Games have drawn to a close, our Paralympians are gearing up to do Great Britain proud in the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which starts in less than two weeks’ time. It’s testament to the success of the last few weeks that tickets for the Paralympics are on the verge of selling out for the first time in their history, and is another reason for us to take great pride this summer.
Likewise, our work is far from done. We are working hard to meet our target of recycling all PET bottles from the Olympics venues and getting them back on shelves within six weeks.
One of the biggest questions being asked at the moment is for how long the Games’ spirit will live on. What will the legacy be? As a business, we have been able to further develop our relationships with our customers and take them to new levels. We have all been lifted by the euphoria of the Games, and such positivity has the potential to be a catalyst for our industry and beyond.
We are now under starter’s orders. In a challenging economy, let’s make sure we use this golden opportunity to drive Great Britain forward.