Can you tell we’re right in the midst of the Commonwealth Games at the moment?
After the success of the London Olympics in 2012, us Brits have revelled in the community spirit mass sporting events can bring. Some have likened the celebratory coming together to a war-time feel. Others have said it’s because we have topics to talk about other than the weather.
There’s something about joining in with your community and feeling part of it, whether you’re a sports lover or not. And that’s exactly what Welcome to Yorkshire promoted during stages one and two of the Tour de France. I admire the team who brought the world’s greatest cycling event to Yorkshire because it’s been such a fantastic advert for our area.
I also admire the team who got us all fired up about the event. They even threw a 100-day festival for us! The Yorkshire Festival 2014 Twitter account encouraged us to use the hashtag #bepartofit. Because it wasn’t just about the super-fit (and slightly crazy in my opinion) cyclists who rode the whole 201km from York to Sheffield for Stage 2. It was about us too – the supporters who lined the streets for the two days of the race and painted bikes yellow or knitted mini jerseys in the lead up.
Now I’m not particularly a huge sports lover, but I’ll watch it when I can see how important it is to others. The World Cup, Wimbledon, or random sports I’d never heard of before in the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games: I can do that. I get caught up in the passion.
But it’s even better when you’re there in person and can really feel the atmosphere. That’s what the Grand Départ provided. I was lucky enough to be at the finish line and could’ve touched one of the cyclists if I really wanted to (perhaps not after a 201km ride). How often do you get to say you were there, at an event where the world’s eyes were on your home town?
So although I’m still unsure of the rules and top cyclist’s names I shared something that millions of others saw throughout the entire race.
I reminisced about seeing it pass right by me and I remembered the upbeat atmosphere that Sheffield embraced that day.