Posted by: kathandroger | September 29, 2019

10 years on…

Incredibly it’s coming up to 10 years since I started this blog – how time flies! I was watching the Athletics World Champs in Doha last night and there was a little resume of the 2009 edition in Berlin. The highlight back then was the astonishing performance of a certain Usain Bolt who set a new world record of 9.58 for the 100m, just one of his 11 world titles. Now retired of course, Bolt brought a breath of fresh air to a sport that was suffering from cynicism caused by drugs scandals. We were of course also in the build up to the London Olympics; London and athletics felt exciting and both were taking a high-profile role  in the world. As I watched the 100m final last night won by an athlete who has missed 3 tests this season, followed by a two time drugs cheat I yearned for the Bolt days. As for London, well probably more about that later.

I’ve discovered that I’m not the only one thinking back a decade. I’m not big into social media, so had missed something called  #10YearChallenge  whereby people post photos of themselves in 2009 and 2019 side by side and draw comparison. So not quite the same idea, but the idea of posting photos of yourself definitely is a reflection of a trend of the past decade. Again, more about that later, probably in another post.

As I started thinking my mind flitted from politics (scary) to technology (exciting/scary), from social change to international conflicts and so much more. The amount of change suddenly seems momentous. It is perhaps therefore not a surprise that so many people are feeling anxious, uncomfortable, angry, frustrated, out of control….

I started by thinking about sport, so let’s go back there. As I write, I have half an eye on the World Cycling Championships from Yorkshire. In the past decade Yorkshire has become a real hub for cyclists following the start of the Tour de France in 2014, the now established Tour de Yorkshire and now the World Champs. The good folk of God’s County have really taken the sport to their hearts and when I return to my homeland I see cyclists everywhere.

This morning I watched Wales-Australia in the rugby. There’s a change there too. The guys are simply massive and their speed and physical strength, resulting from the ‘professionalisation’  and the money in the game have changed the sport on many levels.

Football was already well down that road of course, but the small elite at the top seems to earn some quite obscene sums of money. The gulf between ordinary people and these ‘idols’ seems greater than ever. They really do appear to inhabit different worlds. I couldn’t leave football without mentioning that in 2008, just over the decade ago, my Boro boys beat Manchester City 8-1. Last week City won a match 8-0 and were hailed magnificent. The decade has been somewhat kinder to City than the Boro – just shows what a massive amount of money can do!

Women’s football has made strides particularly in the past 5 years, as have the female versions of cricket and rugby. The media has played an important part in this – in the UK at least. France continues to be a bit less enlightened despite the world cup earlier this year.

How about tennis? Top 3: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic…well it is comforting to know that some things don’t change!!

Next time I’ll turn my thoughts to some of the other aspects of our world and consider how different they look 10 years on…

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