Last night I was fortunate enough to go to the finale of the Cultural Olympiad … i.e the De Coubertin Lecture.. now don’t stop reading.. I didn’t know what it was either. To be totally honest the reason I was keen to get a ticket was because the fabulous Mr.Eddie Izzard was giving it and I’m a huge fan.
However, I found myself being somewhat enlightened. The night started with an interview with the artistic director of all things Olympically-Cultural Ruth Mackenzie. Now, here I confess that I was totally unaware that the Olympics had a cultural side. Call me ignorant. but I thought the Olympics was about men and women in trainers trying to show off their sporting prowess amongst other similarly fit and lean specimen.
Well yes, that is a huge part of it obviously.. but what I learnt last night is that the Olympics core values are Sport, Culture and Education, and London 2012 is trying to make the Arts a huge part of the event with the massive London 2012 Festival which is happening all over the country. See link here
There is soooo much going on that I want to see but so little time to do it, and most of it is FREE! If that isn’t something to celebrate I don’t know what is. There’s even an opera being staged in Birmingham involving 4 helicopters with 4 instruments in each?! Bonkers, but I wish I could go!
Then Mr. Izzard proceeded to give a speech in English and French (simultaneously!) He was his charming and wonderfully funny self. Attempting to keep tangents to a minimum but often failing 🙂 He explained his ideology – healthy body, healthy mind and healthy soul and linked it back to those core Olympic values.. (seriously, I’m never looking at the Olympics in the same way again!) So, I have decided that I am also going to take these as principals as my own. (she says, putting that chocolate hobnob down.)
Eddie was so humble about his sporting achievements but I don’t think anyone would question the amazing feat of running 43 marathons in 51 days! and now he wants to run 27 marathons in 27 days (without a break!) in tribute to Nelson Mandela – who was in prison from 27 years.
Although he failed in his first attempt due to medical circumstances he has no doubt that he will do it next year. I was blown away by the level of determination and totally inspired by his aspirations.
Perhaps the most inspirational moment came when he reminded us of a quote from Mr. Mandela himself. He said..
‘The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.’
How can you argue with that?
To see the lecture which was filmed live go to The Space here