The true legacy of the Olympic Games is the new generation of female role models

12 Aug

Speak to any woman about the Olympic Games, and she’ll tell you she aspires to have a six-pack stomach like Jessica Ennis. Ask any little girl who she’d like to be when she grows up, and – when she’s finished cartwheeling and doing handstands – she’ll say she wants to win a medal like Beth Tweddle.

I can’t hear any child saying she aspires to put on pretend lashes, fake tan and pose half naked for a men’s magazine. The women who won the medals did so through determination, dedication and a desire to develop their talents as far as they will go – and then push them some more.

London 2012 has been a defining moment for female role models. (pic:

London 2012 is defined as being the moment when women came to the fore, gave their all, and walked away with armfuls of medals – becoming role models in the process. More than a third (36%) of Team GB medals in these Olympic Games have been won by women.

And, perhaps more importantly for role models for the future, we’ve seen women of all shapes and sizes battling it out for the crown. This article by Joni Farthing on True image of women at work makes Olympics worth every penny sums up this point brilliantly.

It’s not just role models who will inspire. The government is to put its money where its mouth is and capitalise on the buzz that’s been created around these Games. Sport will still get £125m investment a year in the run-up to the Games in Rio 2016, and Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to re-introduce competitive sport into schools. “We are saying out with the bureaucratic, anti-risk, all-must-have-prizes culture, which has led to a death of competitive sport in too many schools, and in with the belief that competition is healthy, that winning and losing is an important part of growing up,” he said.

I’ll certainly be applauding that move from the terraces.

Here are some more articles on this topic that I liked:



One Response to “The true legacy of the Olympic Games is the new generation of female role models”

  1. corina 13/08/2012 at 9:38 am #

    I agree – female Olympic athletes are great role models for young women; they show how hard work, focus, commitment and dedication can lead to achievement and success. A back lash against the overt sexualisation and dumbing down of young women is long overdue!

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