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Layla Anna-Lee

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Our Athletes are the Perfect Inspiration

Posted: 06/08/2012 00:00

Last week on centre court at Horse Guards Parade London, Nathalie Cook announced her retirement. Australia's finest Beach Volleyball player, Olympic gold medallist and five time Olympian has bowed out after 20 years of the sport.

Team GB Beach Volleyball players call Cook an inspiration and the other countries athletes are often starstruck to meet her.

In her retirement announcement she called London's Horse Guards Parade the greatest Olympic Beach Volleyball stadium of all time and sung the praises of London 2012 Olympic games.

For a country with shingle beaches, rain and not a massive Beach volleyball following this is really quite something. We have put together a phenomenal games and the media are finally on side.

Our medal tally, at the time of writing this blog, stands at 19 medals, six of which are gold, catapulting us from 23rd place to a fine fifth in the medal league behind China, USA, Korea and France.

Our team are doing better than expected and I'm super impressed.

Chris Hoy had the thousands gathered around the big screen in Hyde Park literally dancing and screaming at his record breaking win - and us Brits aren't always the best at letting go!

He has been on the front page of almost every paper, deservedly so and everyone on the tube this morning was taking about it.

Reports of the games and our athletes have been largely positive and the newspapers and magazines are filled with stories and photos of the amazing sports - A stark difference from our usual 'celebrity' filled media and quite a relief not to know what our favourite reality TV stars are up to.

We are no longer looking to Big Brother for content to fill the media world's vastly desperate pages and instead are flooded with aspiring stories and results from the world of sport.

For the first time in years our magazines and newspapers are featuring athletic bodies and healthy shapes that we should aspire to. For so long we have moaned about the pressure on young girls, boys, men and women to look like the photoshopped and possibly dehydrated magazine beauties that influence our diets. We have looked at how to 'loose weight fast' or get slim for your holiday 'bikini body' with mentions of an 'eight minute workout' or 'walk to work' but never a real promotion of sport like this. I over heard a couple talking about how they had taken up badminton to stay fit and their friends joining a local cycling team. Quite a change from the chats about the most recent detox diet or how laxatives can help you loose weight!

Zumba is out and sports are in - lets just hope it stays that way. Sadly the odds are stacked against us, we spend the majority of the year fully clothed in triple layers that hide a thousand sins, I know if I lived on Copacabana beach I probably wouldn't have eaten that chocolate bar.

In London it's even harder, were in a city where we can walk to a tube station and sit on our way to a job that is spent sat down before journeying back home on our bottoms. In our spare time we socialise sat in a circle at the pub or if were feeling inspired - drive to the gym.

It's our habits that are the hardest to break and the habits of our media need a serious shaking. This could be a really positive change, despite the Olympics being sponsors by fast food giant McDonalds.

The bodies on Team GB display dedication, determination, strength and health.

Let's hope once the Olympics are over our media don't fall back into flooding us with fashion's thinnest.

Our athletes are the perfect inspiration.

 

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