At the Athens Olympics, Kelly Holmes wins at 1,500 meters and 800 meters were two of the highlights, for me of that Olympics! My son, Adam and I were lucky enough to see both live. Adam could not believe how Kelly Holmes flew down the last fifty meters in the 800 meters. I just remember the heat that night, and wondered how anyone could run that night!
After Dame Kelly Holmes victories in Athens, her sponsor, Reebok, feted her in a global ad campaign in 2005 (courtesy of Reebok International).
Move five years later, and now Dame Kelly Holmes, is invited to a dinner for the wives of G20 leaders in London. She does not know who she will be sitting to until very close to the event. The blog, http://www.insidethegames.com/blogs.php?id=28, gives you a very personal view of one of the top athletes from the UK meeting Michelle Obama. It also gives one an minute idea of how much excitement the world has about President Barack and his wife, Michelle Obama.
By all accounts, the G20 meetings had three winners: Gordon Browne, the British Prime Minister, who came out with the support and admiration of Barack Obama, the US President. President Barack Obama, a man of keen intellect, came out of his first visit outside of the US, a visit with huge pressure, making some real progress. As Obama found ways to give Sarkozy of France and Werkel of Germany some room for their caution, his complements of Gordon Browne, which seemed genuine, showed the UK that Browne is a world leader who hosted a meeting that global meeting that had shipwreck written on every side of it.
Browne used statesmanship (perhaps brinksmanship is the better term) that the late Benjamin Disreali would have countenanced, in taking the French and German leaders, who wanted to blame someone and some country (quick hint, U.S….) for the global economic nightmare that does not want to stop. Browne realized that there was enough greed ( remember the movie Wall Street? remember the Gordon Gekko character, ‘greed is good’?) on the global front: oil at $150 a barrel, home loans that should not have been written, fake pay stubs to qualify for said loan, investments that could never be explained, but because they seemed to be making some folks rich, just were ignored.
President Obama had his baptism by fire with the British press. Take a roomful of the fifth estate, and let them pick and pick, ask one question, then reask, then reask a third time. As Neitzche noted, what does not kill you, does make you stronger. Just watch five minutes of one of the press conferences from the G20.
The third winner in the G20 sweepstakes has to be Michelle Obama, who represented her country well and gave another indication of what the country and the world will see and needs to see: thoughtful examples, strong leadership (not without snafus and mistakes, as all are human) in a time with neither quick answers or easy resolutions.
In a time like this, sports has an every larger place to play in the firmament. The Inside the Games blog by Dame Kelly Holmes shows some of the excitement and gives us, the reader, an intimate view of an exciting evening.
For more on the Olympics, please check out http://www.insidethegames.com