Two Wheels Good – Four Wheels Better

Inspiration (c) R Dennison 2013

Inspiration (c) R Dennison 2013

Having noted that Sir Alex has now announced his retirement from Manchester United, I should point Sir Chris Hoy beat him to the retirement arena by a few days.  However Sir Chris, at 37 years of age, is actually changing gears in career terms.

As the Daily Telegraph coverage confirms Sir Chris is leaving the world of cycling to pursue a goal in the world of motor sport, courtesy of the SR1 circuit for novice drivers.  Speaking about the inspiration to pursue this new challenge, he has said:

“I love cars, I love racing bikes, I’ve still got that competitive instinct even though I’ve retired from racing bikes, and I’ve driven on circuits for a number of years now, just on track days, so to combine the two and to have a little bit of fun… it’s just a great chance for me,”

It is great too that he has identified what is important – competition plus fun – and transferred the same confidence he brought to the velodrome to the racing circuit.  That calculation suggests that his goal is clear, and the steps he will be taking to move toward what he wants are equally certain.  I would put money on him being successful in his new field too, given time.

There May Be Trouble Ahead – Post Script

Map of Summer Olympics locations. Countries th...

Map of Summer Olympics locations. Countries that have hosted one Summer Olympics are shaded green, while countries that have hosted two or more are shaded blue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an earlier post I speculated that there might be Trouble Ahead as a result of the 11th hour pre-Olympic security staffing problem.


It turns out the long term impact of the problem is being quantified by the key players.


For the armed services – drafted in at the last minute to help ensure the Games were successful – there will be knock-on effects for many months to come.


As Wing Commander Peter Daulby, military Chief Planner, commented to the Guardian:


“It will take two years to recover from [Olympic deployment], to get back to normal, to get everything back into kilter. You can’t expect [personnel deployed] to go back to normal routine very easily”


For the original security contractor – G4S – the impact of achieving a reported 83% deployment of their original staffing goal will be financial.  The Guardian reports a 60% fall in half year profits and reputational knock in the longer term.


As their Chief Executive, Nick Buckles, said in a recent interview:


“…his appearance before the home affairs select committee shortly before the Games, where he was forced to admit that the Olympics process had been a “shambles”, was difficult but necessary”


Although the Games themselves were rightly praised as a major success, the secuirty contractor’s experience seems to illustrates the principle that; ordinary efforts probably could not have produced the extraordinary planning outcome the Olympics call for.

A Winning Attitude

Sue Tibballs, CEO, Women's Sport & Fitness Fou...

Sue Tibballs, CEO, Women’s Sport & Fitness Foundation (Photo credit: KatBeads)

In my experience a positive approach to a challenge helps to produce better results than a negative one.


I know I have taken on a task from someone who said they ‘could not ‘ achieve the desired outcome, and I went on to produce an effective result without too much effort.


If positivity can produce those sorts of results in the everyday world, how much more can it galvanise people at the peak of their game?


Arguably, as the eyes of the world are focused on the Olympic venues, most of the 2012 competitors must want to show the aspirational values of winners who achieve results at Faster, Higher, and Stronger levels.


It makes sense that, as Coach Robin Williams notes, World beating rowers Heather Stanning and Helen Glover’s earned their Gold medals in part because of their “… reliably positive attitude on and off the water”.


Female athletes’ positivity may also help raise the profile and levels of participation in women’s sport.  There is room for improvement as Sue Tibballs, Chief Executive of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, says: “Being sporty is still not seen as aspirational or even normal among girls. They just don’t see women doing it”


Who knows, at the end of the competition it might be clear that, this time around, women really have made their mark.