Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Biting Back: Olympic success shows investment crucial for Northern Ireland sport

Telegraph Sport: Where the debate really gets started

So, the Olympics are over. London 2012 is no more. It's going to be difficult to fill the void. It feels as if the Games have taken over our lives ever since that marvellously creative opening ceremony.

We've had the highs, the lows, the joy, the pain, the gold, silver and bronze; Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Katie Taylor and the medals won by our own Paddy Barnes, Alan Campbell, Peter Chambers, Richard Chambers and Michael Conlan.

Except for a few empty seats early on and the odd drug cheat, London 2012 has been a monumental success, helped in no small part by the willing army of volunteers and the military men and women who stepped in at short notice to safeguard security. They all deserve a gold medal in my book for their gracious, caring, helpful manner.

Now we look to the legacy of London and attempting to keep the feelgood factor alive.

The Olympics has shown how much sport means to us; therefore it is imperative that government keeps investing in our future stars, not just on the back of these Games, but for years and years and years to come.

And that means splashing the cash for Northern Ireland sport, facilities, equipment, training etc, Mr Cameron, not just in the south of England.

We shall watch developments with interest. In the meantime, thanks to London 2012 — truly the greatest show on earth.

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