This notion reflects my interest in the event, the moment, the participation that holds the key - with photography reflecting these dearly held moments for reflection ‘after the event’. The role of the spectator can also be reflective of the moment when human presence through endeavour confounds even those without an interest in sport, providing the figure and ground for the photographer.
So who were the biggest winners in this remarkable summer of Olympic and Paralympic sport? The likes of Mo, Usain, Ellie and Sarah, obviously. This was the year when not only Olympian but Paralympian heroes became recognisable by their first names alone. The Games Makers, unquestionably, along with Seb Coe and his team; the crowds; and all of the millions who have watched both festivals of sport with such keenness.
The success of the London Paralympics so far has rested on a number of factors: the obvious public appetite for tickets; the extensive media coverage; and, of course, the extraordinary achievements of a number of GB paralympians.
The ability to control emotions under pressure is a key skill.
Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy won a sixth gold medal with the weight of history on his shoulders, and we all watched heptathlete Jessica Ennis control her emotions under the extreme pressure of being the ‘face of the Games’, on top of the usual pressure of competing at the Olympics.
Team GB won its first gold medals of London 2012 yesterday, with an impressive first Olympic title for the women’s pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the rowing and cyclist Bradley Wiggins winning the time trial in some style to add to his Tour de France victory.
The Olympics were once the preserve of the amateur, who competed for the love of the sport without receiving payment.
The Olympics are not just about the sporting events. The Cultural Olympiad which spans the four years before the Olympic Festival includes activities inspired by the event – 16 million people are said to have engaged in thousands of performances, workshops and events across the UK for the London 2012 games.
Excitement is building around this summer’s Olympics, and it’s great that Wolverhampton is having its turn in the spotlight this weekend. The city is, as ever, pulling out all the stops for the torch relay which makes its way through our streets on Saturday.