Sunday, August 5, 2012

Team GB pride at the Olympics

In addition to the obvious pride of watching Team USA perform well thus far at the London  Olympics, it's also been fun to watch the pride of Great Britain on display as it cheers on its own on home soil.

That fact was probably never more evident than Saturday as British track and field star Jessica Ennis wrapped up an Olympic gold medal in heptathlon, and then Sunday when Andy Murray won gold in men's tennis at Wimbledon.

Ennis is a face of these Games if there ever was one - her image is on virtually every billboard in that country advertising the Olympics, and it's also a familiar image all over the Internet because of how much her country has invested in her potential success.

Murray's story is well known throughout the sports world, in large part to fans who don't follow tennis closely, because of the incredible pressure he faces every year Wimbledon comes around because a British player hasn't won that storied tournament since 1936.

Great Britain takes its sports seriously - with no exaggeration, athletes who perform well on the grandest stages can usually expect to be knighted.

Ennis and Murray both brought great pride to their host nation by grabbing gold.

The roar in the Olympic Stadium as Ennis crossed the line to win the 800-meter run and subsequently secure the heptathlon title was overwhelming, and it's probably fair to say Roger Federer hasn't seen such a hostile environment as facing a British player at Wimbledon in the Olympic gold medal final.

You can see Murray's ceremony here and Ennis' ceremony here.

Of course hearing our national anthem brings out the most pride, but for me it's also pretty cool in a secondary sense to watch British athletes overcome as "God Save The Queen" plays during a medal ceremony.

Much like how American athletes probably felt winning gold in Atlanta, it has to be the ultimate for British athletes to do the same in an Olympics at home.

- Chris Lillstrung | @CLillstrungNH


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