The Rio Olympics have drawn to a close. Britain has again exceeded expectations. Who would have thought in 1996 after the Atlanta Olympics (Britain 1 Gold Medal; 36th place in the medals table) that 20 years later, Britain would be second in the medals table with 27 Gold medals?
And who would have thought in 1996 that a failing care home business in the north of England would still exist let alone be abuzz with sport 20 years later? Even I, full of ideas for Middleton Hall in 1996, might have been surprised in time travelling to 2016 with what I would see.
A lot can change in 20 years.
The last two weeks at Middleton Hall have been full of great examples of people exceeding expectations. The Spa team organised a Rio Challenge with medals available for residents from services in all corners of Middleton Hall participating in a variety of events including Samba style aqua and exercise classes, Olympic Rings, Shot Putt and Orienteering. The Independent Living Sports Day was a highly competitive day of bowling, golf, boules and table tennis and the Residents versus Staff Sports Day …. well let’s just say the staff came second. It seems the residents, in line with the British Cycling team just practise a little bit harder.
The Rio style barbecue and podium presentation on Wednesday evening after the Residents v Staff matches ended up with over 60 people (amazingly the BBQ stretched well!) eating and drinking inside and outside the Orangery.
In 1996, I believed that the Middleton Hall of the future should be a place where people would aspire to live and where residents could improve their lifestyle. Seeing residents in all our services enthused in so many ways over the last two weeks tells me that it is indeed that place.
And I hope that the wider British population, especially those at the other end of the age spectrum, will also be enthused by Rio. Because sport can really make a difference.