Singing when we’re winning


The spirit of the games


As everyone who turns on any media this morning will know, Britain is winning. ‘We’ have 50 medals, 19 golds and on a per capita to medal calculation, we’re on top of the world.

So for a third Olympics in a row, our performances have drowned the critics. In Bejing it was Human Rights, in London it was ‘austerity’ and in Rio it is the economic and social crisis of a failing BRIC. All considerations for the wider context of our sporting prowess are put aside.

And rightly so!

Listen to the magnificent Podcasts being produced by the BBC to hear the voices of the competitors, their families and those who coached them and you realize that the sporting endeavor that underpins what is going on, is part of the solution- not the problem.

Whatever your gripe about how we run our society, only a churl would not be proud to be part of a nation that has Laura Trott and Jason Kenny among its citizens.


Kelly and Trott


It is not just about achievement. Kipling’s homily ‘if’ is about singing when you’re not winning and that’s as important. We have lots of athletes who will return from RIO with no medal. Some bean-counter will probably remark on the negative return on capital, but the also rans also ran! And we can be as happy that we have competed as we are doing – win or lose!

Drug and Ego free!

I hope we don’t have a doping scandal at Rio, I particularly hope that the British team- my team- stay drugs free. If we find cheats – let’s be tough on them- but if we don’t – let’s celebrate.

Let’s celebrate too the Andy Murrays and Justin Roses who have put their country before their bank balances and played for the team. We win a lot of team sports because of the lack of EGO of our sportsmen.

After the disastrous Euros, where a bronze medal would have been seen as a triumph, the English football team must ask itself what it can learn from our gymnastics, diving, cycling and rowing squads. I could add a lot of other sports to that list – my point is that our success seems to be in reverse proportion to the Ego of our athletes!


Bolt is everything that is good about this Olympics. Weirdly I do not find his Ego overbearing as everything he does seems to be directed towards making me happy- and I guess everyone else happy at the same time.

Surely the shot of him sneaking a smile as he races past the line will become one of the greatest shots of this (or any other Olympics).


Head and Shoulders

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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2 Responses to Singing when we’re winning

  1. Elaine Tarver says:

    don’t forget the horses henry – charlotte dujardin

  2. Peter D Beattie says:

    Henry. I am sure as a country we need a ‘boost in confidence’ but to my mind it seems that this sort of expensive effort although admirable for the achievement of individuals does not amount to a ‘stack of beans’ to improve our country’s economic recovery or improve our trading situation in the World where we now have a falling confidence in the ‘pound sterling’. What we need is a viable plan for our country ‘post Brexit’! It is good that our athletes are achieving ‘their goals’ but as a country is it wise for us to continue glorying in all this ‘posturing’?

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