Olympic Dreams and Nightmares


I wrote this poem just hours before the start of the Olympics.  It came to me in a flash while doing a spot of exercise – highly appropriate.  And now, as we approach the end of the first week, I realize just how appropriate the words are too.  Like many others I’ve watched in horror and desperation as one by one – mentioning no names – athletes have made those little slip-ups that they will regret for the rest of their lives.   And, even as Wiggie was coming down the home straight through Kingston yesterday I was silently praying that he wouldn’t have a meltdown and crash into John Lewis on the bend of the High Street.  When you think about it, with all the elite competition and obstacles to success – not least the mental ones – it’s pretty amazing when they do actually win!

To put the idea into a more general context: is it better to be a struggling unpublished author – talented, under-appreciated and putting in the hours but allowed to hope for years (decades even) that one day your time will come, then have four years’ work dashed in an instant?  I think I know what camp I belong in! I wouldn’t have the nerves or heart for competitive sport.  Let the dream live on, I say, if only in the imagination and on Amazon….


What it must be
To be a winner
Talent and hard work
That actually add up
To deliver that
Golden cup

What it must feel
To achieve an ambition
A bit of luck
Wind blowing the right way
All going right
On the day

What satisfaction
To hit the mark
Realise a dream
Breathe a sigh of relief
Not stagger from
A kick in the teeth

What memories to cherish
Aloft laurels so high
No what-if regrets
No bitter taste
Just triumph for
A challenge faced



About silent seranader

I'm a London-based writer and journalist, pretty much interested in most things. I love to write fiction -- and have written several novels as well as a bunch of short stories and poems, which can be viewed at Karen on Jottify.com http://jottify.com/writer/karenlesleytaylor/. I've started up a new food blog, which reviews places to eat, quite often with a literary or arts connection. I'm enjoying writing it. A bit like eating a good meal, it isn't exactly hard work. It's currently about places in London... but, I think, that could well change.
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5 Responses to Olympic Dreams and Nightmares

  1. shrewdbanana says:

    Good to see you back! 🙂

    Yes, I so agree with you here – I cannot imagine what pressure those athletes must be under. It’s as much of a mental challenge as a physical one in this day and age, when there is non-stop, sometimes highly intrusive, coverage of their every move and sinew. I’d much rather be a hermit with occasional, probably unrealistic, dreams of brief transcendence – couldn’t cope with anything else!

  2. silentranter says:

    Thanks for the comment, Anne! And I agree wholeheartedly with it too. The back stories are also so intrusive — becoming more like the X-Factor every day 🙂 BTW, I was your anonymous commentator the other day on your writer’s block piece — didn’t realise that you had to key in your details again to give a name (thought it was automatic — probably is but I wasn’t logged in, or something?) Still trying to write my book. Still getting distracted! Maybe after the Olympics…. 🙂

    • shrewdbanana says:

      Ah! It was you – I thought it was my other ‘sometime-commenter’, Mark, who always pops up as Anonymous as he’s not on wordpress.
      Thanks very much for commenting 🙂

      By the way, if you want to increase your site traffic, try adding tags to your work. For instance, above would be ‘sport’, ‘olympics’, ‘poems’, etc. You should find that you’ll get a lot more visitors and comments – if that’s what you want, of course!

  3. shrewdbanana says:

    PS Just tweeted it for you 🙂

    • silentranter says:

      Thanks, Anne. I will try the tags too. I’m being a bit half hearted about the blog. I only write it when I suddenly feel like it….which isn’t very often! Usually, as you may have noticed, after a rush of blood to the head following a trip to the gym 🙂

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