The current year will go into the history books of Britain for various reasons. First, there is the jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Second, Bradley Wiggins is the first Briton who has won the Tour de France. He later added Olympic Gold which was the major sporting event of this year so far: The London Olympics. Finally, Andy Murray has won a Grand Slam title, the first for a Briton since 1936!
Being head of the state for 60 years must be considered a world record. On top fo that living through crises and tragedies like Elizabeth did in her reign is admirable. During those 6 decades Britain has seen 12 Prime Ministers. May be even that is a world record for a ‘western democracy.’ However, the Jubilee Tour through Britain brought her to Leicester
Bradley Wiggins in Yellow
The second big occasion this year to be cheerful for Britons was the first win of a British cyclist of the Tour de France by Bradley Wiggins. He took the maillot jaune after finishing third on the 7. stage and kept it until the peloton arrived on the Champs Elysee on 22 July. The British triumph was sweetened by Mark Cavendish‘s third victory in a row in Paris as well as Chris Froome in second place in the general classement, only 3:21 behind Wiggins.
Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine
The footie magazine When Saturday Comes reported that the coverage from Poland and the Ukraine concerning England, was a muted affair due to the low expectations from the public and the pundits. However, England delivered one of the most interesting games of the group stages of the tournament, beating Sweden 3-2 after being down twice. Theo Walcott and Danny Wellbeck scored two superb goals.
The Olympics at London
The highlight of the year from a British perspective certainly came during the Olympics and Paralympics.
The US Open 2012: First Grand Slam title for Andy Murray
Last but not least, Andy Murray has become one of the great tennis players by beating Novak Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows to win the first Grand Slam title of his career. The last British player to do so was Fred Perry in 1936. The guardian newspaper stated that the nation can now let Fred Perry lie in peace as he has found a worthy successor. If it took 76 years to find another British Grand Slam winner, does this equally mean that England’s footballers have to wait another 30 years before they will lift the World Cup trophy again?
It has been an exciting year for Britain, no doubt, riding this wave of excitement and success in sport. However, it remains to be seen, if the mood continues to stay positive for the remainder of the year and beyond it or if reality catches up all too quickly and the positive energy is sapped away by the day-to-day business of normal life.
- Memo From London: After Olympics, Golden Glow for Britain (nytimes.com)
- Bradley Wiggins in historic Tour de France win (independent.co.uk)
- Bradley Wiggins becomes first Briton to win the Tour de France (itv.com)
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-18339733 (bbc.co.uk)
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/14/olympics-opening-ceremony-pr-stunt?CMP=twt_gu (guardian.co.uk)
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/aug/11/team-gb-boosts-uk-retailers?commentpage=1#start-of-comments (guardian.co.uk)
- http://www.scotsman.com/news/comment-our-economy-needs-the-olympic-high-to-continue-1-2463655 (scotsman.com)
- http://anxietyandbiscuits.com/2012/08/06/a-very-british-olympics-its-the-taking-part-that-counts/ (anxietyandbiscuits.com)
- http://www.footballiscominghome.info/the-hosts/branding-and-unbranding-of-olympic-football/ (footballiscominghome.info)
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/sep/09/britain-paralympics (guardian.co.uk)
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/sep/11/andy-murray-us-open-novak-djokovic1?CMP=SOCNETTXT8763I (guardian.co.uk)
- Andy Murray makes history going from Olympic gold to Grand Slam (express.co.uk)