How Olympic Success Means We Need Local News, Histories, Stories

Above Lizzie Yarnold’s Gold Medals Winter Olympics 2018

Yay! We all love success. It makes you realise though, that we need to encourage the sharing and opportunities for success for more people, more of the time.

A way to encourage this is through writing stories and using art and print to tell ordinary people’s stories and make the connection between the hopeful and the winner in a way that helps us understand how we live just now, who we are, what we don’t know.

We don’t need all good news or all bad news. We need quality information about the world we see so that when we look around us we can contribute, connect, participate.

Often though, with the lack of richer stories we’re so hungry for something different that we miss detail, we don’t really participate but use situations to be associated with other people’s success that is really privileged or prioritised over our lives.

Other stories though, have not been written and that is preventing change and social mobility.

Instead of people feeling enfranchised and connected they become consumers of other people’s lives, hungry for association with one dimension of success: winning.

And you realise this in the most ordinary places. Like Anthony Burrill the designer of the famous poster:


He was in a supermarket queue when he heard a woman supporting a checkout operator saying: ‘well, the most important things people can do are to work hard and be nice to people’….that inspired his famous posters ( £60 from Rye House Studios)

Like AB, I was in a supermarket aisle in the Coop, when I heard a woman on her phone saying “We WON!” (Lizzie Yarnold and Laura Deas winning gold and bronze medals she meant) but the fact that she couldn’t remember the name of the women who won makes me realise that we do want to be inspired and believe in excellence  but that maybe this woman wanted to be part of something more than actually had a real knowledge or connection to the sports people she was celebrating. I think this is because all of the resources in the media are driven towards winning and celebrity.

Stories about ordinary people (who are usually the ones who make things happen for the people who are given a golden ticket) need to be written to balance our culture, give some sense of worth and intelligence back to people.

We all need stories. The connections between the people, the ground they live in and the things that go on around them belong to all of us.


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