Primary school pupils on the seminal day in 2005 when London was awarded the 2012 Olympics, little did they realise that it would inspire them to become this county’s latest champions.
London’s legacy is Team GB’s new standard-bearers in Japan. And little wonder so many tears of joy – and pride – were shed as these Leeds lads won gold medals within 30 minutes of each other on “Magic Monday”.
First onto the ultimate podium in world sport was 23-year-old Lee who grew up idolising Tom Daley – the poster boy of diving who he partnered to a stunning victory in the synchronised 10 metres platform event.
A trailblazer for the City of Leeds Diving Club, he moved to London – even though he had no friends in the capital – to train full-time with Daley who, himself, has overcome many setbacks to realise his long-held Olympic dream.
And the emotional sight of Lee and Daley presenting each other with their gold medals in a Covid-safe ceremony was, arguably, the moment and image of the Tokyo Olympics.
Both divers are role models – and incredible athletes – in the mould of Pidcock whose victory in the mountain bike cross-country came weeks after he badly smashed his collarbone when the 21-year-old was hit side-on by a car while out training.
That he also spent part of lockdown training on a static bike in his apartment, with the heating on full blast to replicate the humidity of Tokyo, illustrates the determination of so many Team GB competitors to lift the nation’s spirits.
We salute them all. A day after Doncaster’s taekwondo star Bradly Sinden won a silver medal, how reassuring that Yorkshire – the nation’s capital of sport – now has new Olympic heroes to help inspire future generations.
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