England losing its bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup was bad enough for the country dubbed “The Home of Football” but its impact may in fact be more far reaching than many realised. That is if the recent results being recorded by the British Olympic and Paralympic sports are anything to go by.
At the recent Invictus Games which saw 400 competitors from 14 nations compete in 8 sports, and event that featured athletes injured, sick or disabled as a result of their serving their country, Britain’s Paralympic stocks looked to be extremely healthy heading towards Rio in 2016.
In fact there has hardly been one sport from the London Olympic Games that has not lifted its game since the hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games. The results proving a real legacy, with stand out performances in triathlon, athletics and gymnastics, where Claudia Fragapane emerged with four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile at the recent Youth Olympics in China 16 year old Gianni Regini-Moran scooped five gold medals.
In fact at the Youth Olympics Britain’s 32 athletes won a record 24 medals. (7 Gold, 6 silver and 11 bronze).
Lord Coe who when bidding for London to host the 2012 Olympic Games promised a legacy, has been quoted as saying “There is no reason why some should not be there or thereabouts in Rio.”
With success coming so hot on hosting the Olympic Games there are many in English football looking on and wondering if hosting the World Cup would have also seen a surge in English born talent coming to the surface, and players emerging who may actually steer the national team to at least the semi finals of a major tournament.
The truth is we will never know…