So what was your greatest sporting memory from 2012? Was it Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France? Was it Jess Ennis claiming heptathlon gold? Was it Mo Farah’s wide eyed wonder as he crossed the finish line for a second Olympic title? Perhaps it was Andy Murray claiming US Open victory? Whatever it was, I think it is safe to say that there will never be a year like 2012 again in the history of British sport.
My personal favourite moment from 2012 was in fact Gemma Gibbons’ judo semi final. It may seem insignificant in comparison to the rest of that wonderful Olympics, but when Gibbons raised her eyes upwards and tearfully mouthed ‘I love you Mum’, it moved even the most hardened soul. Even now, when the replays are shown over and over in those somewhat cheesy but nonetheless feel good montages the BBC reel out, it still brings a lump to my throat. Because, what Gemma managed to do in those five seconds, was encapsulate London 2012. Heartbreak, success and joy.
I have one more favourite moment from 2012. It just so happens to be another Olympic one. On Saturday the 4th of August I was lucky enough to be sat in the Olympic Stadium watching the greatest hour of British athletic history. But you didn’t have to be in the stadium to enjoy the Olympic experience. Everywhere you went, whether it be the Olympic Park, Eton Dorney or Greenwich Park, the Olympic spirit was plain to see. It was a mesmerising experience watching patriotism grip the country in a frenzy. For two weeks as far as the eye could see, London was bathed in the Union Jack.
The buzz word from the 2012 Olympics was ‘legacy’. But that word can be carried over to all aspects of British sport this year. The Olympics of course left an inspiring legacy. But then so did Bradley Wiggins and team Sky in the Tour De France, so did the England cricket team in India this winter and so did the England rugby team when they destroyed the All Blacks.
I have a feeling the 2012 buzz word will be around for quite some time.
But it depressingly calls into question how on earth can we match 2012? How can 2013 possibly be better? But let us just remember what is to come next year. Let’s not be too depressed, it may not be an Olympic year, but we have some mouth-watering clashes ahead of us.
The Six Nations is back. England are all systems go after beating New Zealand and it could be a wondrous moment for English rugby if they can match that performance. It’s exciting, this Lancaster era, young players, new players, players who are thrilled to wear the three lions on their chests.
Let us not forget either that the Tour de France is back, and this year, we could have another British winner. Chris Froome, the man who dragged Wiggins up the mountain stages last year is gunning for the yellow jersey. And with Wiggins in support, who’s to stop Team Sky and British success once again? It’s the 100th anniversary of the tour, and to make the prospect of a yellow jersey even sweeter, Mark Cavendish will once again be riding for the green jersey. It’s almost salivating.
To cap off what we hope will be a blockbuster year, the Ashes are back on English soil. The Aussie’s are back and the old enemy return to the scene of their 2009 agony. England could be running into that series with some serious momentum behind them if they beat New Zealand in their own back yard. As for the Aussie’s…last series they had no answer to Alastair Cook and Jimmy Anderson, I don’t see that changing.
So let us not despair that 2012 is over! We can look back on this year fondly, but 2013 is approaching rapidly.
And 2013 brings the Roses back to York.