I couldn’t possibly write a Proud to be British Series of Articles without mentioning a few of the brilliant sporting heroes who brought us to our feet during the London Olympics 2012. My first accolade I hand to the amazing Bradley Wiggins.
With his sport having been taken through the gutter in the past few months, he is a shinning light of how hard work and persistence pays off.
Throughout the joyous events that have surrounded us during 2012 the words that seem to occur over and over again are “proud to be British” and who can blame us? Everything that has happened this year has sparked celebrations with everyone coming together and what a great year it has been.
Who could forget the final stage of the Tour De France in the Champs-Elysees as Wiggins lead his team mate Mark Cavendish in towards the finish to help the sprint king win the final stage of the Tour De France for the 4th consecutive time and more importantly Bradley Wiggins became the first Britain to win the most gruelling bike race possible, the Tour De France. It was pure brilliance.
Before his Tour heroics, Wiggins had been better known as one of the golden generation of British track cyclists that swept the board at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
But for Wiggins this Tour De France victory not just capped a superlative performance on his part, and support from his Sky teammates it was also the fulfilment of his lifelong dream.
How could anyone pick themselves up from such a high and then go on to repeat such a similar fate and repeat this type of performance at the Olympics.
Yet that is exactly what he did. He won one of the most memorable gold medals in the Olympics Time Trial.
He put in what was simply a stunning display of strength, speed and endurance, a performance of pure class. He won his event by a massive 42 seconds, just incredible.
Wiggins has to be one of the greatest sportsman this country has ever produced; now having won four Olympic gold medal, to add to a silver and two bronze.
I doubt anyone would deny that his performance in the Tour De France inspired many of our Great Britain sportsman ahead of their events in the Olympic Games. I believe Wiggins was the nation’s catalyst, and his success brought much of the success that followed. We were a nation that now believed in ourselves. After all he had done something in a major sporting event that had never been done before by anyone from our shores.
How could anyone not find themselves inspired by the image of Bradley Wiggins gliding down the Champs-Elysees and into the history books as he sealed triumph in the Tour de France. Crossing the finish line on cobbles of the Paris boulevard after 2,173 miles of racing over three gruelling weeks, he raised his arms in a victory salute. The first Briton to win the world’s greatest cycle race since it began in 1903.
He is a man that has a pure passion for his sport of cycling. He is driven by an insatiable thirst and desire to achieve, and keep achieving, no matter how much it hurts. And believe me his sport of cycling hurts. It hurts a lot. It’s a sport where you’re as much against the elements as your rivals, where you are on your bike for anywhere up to 6 hours and grind your way up and down mountains, along bendy roads, through every weather condition you could imagine.
To me he has to be BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 after all he won the Tour de France and an Olympic gold medal in the same year. He also began the Great Britain medal rush at the London Olympics by ringing the bell that began the spectacular opening ceremony. How can you beat that achievement?
I was fascinated to learn what shaped and molded this man into the champion he undoubtedly is today and for those of you interested I would highly recommend this article How The Olympic Champion Beat His Demons from The Telegraph Online.
You can also read his fascinating autobiography In Pursuit of Glory: The Autobiography
You could do no worse then to pursue your passions and maximise your own talents with the same ferocity and dedication that Bradley Wiggins has gone about maximising his! I think that the thing we can learn from the success of Bradley Wiggins is that if you’re prepared to make sacrifices and put in the hard work, you’ll go far in life.[blockquote photo=”http://www.larry-lewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/bradley-wiggins-small.jpg” align=”left” author=”Bradley Wiggins”] It’s the stuff of dreams…As a child, being a fan of the sport, I never imagined that one day I’d be in this position. Kids from Kilburn don’t become favourite for the Tour de France. You’re supposed to become a postman or a milkman or work in Ladbrokes.