Olympics

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The Sex Pistols, David Beckham, James Bond and Gregory’s Girl – the £27 million madcap and surreal Olympic opening ceremony had it all. There was even a parachuting Jubilee Queen.

But what’s it really all about?

Cleaners living in box rooms? G4S contracts? Prickly sponsors that want to sell us shampoo and fizzy soft drinks? Gaffe-prone Mitt Romney? Korean flag wars? Widespread doping?

There are many reasons to be cynical about the 
Olympics.

A recent survey suggested that Scots are less engaged with the Olympics than the rest of the UK.

Indeed, a few months ago it seemed few of us had much interest in 
London 2012.

But then came the torch relay which brought tens of thousands of people on to the streets of Edinburgh and the Lothians and marked a turning point in the public’s view towards the Games. Regardless of whether you are turned on or off by the razzmatazz, the Olympics will inspire lots of our young people to think about sport.

And sport is so much more than the daily diet of football that we are served in Scotland.

For many young people this will be their first experience of many minority sports, from sailing and synchronised swimming to weightlifting and water polo.

Whether Team GB wins an unprecedented haul of medals or not the Games will inspire our children to show an interest in sport, to watch it, to play it, to love it. And that is something that will last for life.

In this era of computer games and sedentary lifestyles, anything that encourages us to embrace sport and its health benefits must be welcomed. The Olympic motto citius, altius, fortius, – or faster, higher, stronger – should be a motto for life.

Well done London for bringing the Games to Britain. Now, let’s all benefit.