World’s top athletes put on a show to give inspiration to a generation

They were asked to inspire a generation and inspire a generation they did.

Steven Solomon and Aly Raisman are now the perfect role models for any sportsminded youngster looking to follow their dream.

Both athletes maintained the highest standards in terms of performance, discipline and dignity throughout the 2012 Olympic Games — an event that can only be remembered as a resounding success.

Both teenagers have laid the foundations for Jewish youth to step up and raise the ante in rio in 2016. They have certainly laid down the gauntlet for Anglo-Jewry in the UK and I hope to see the likes of runner Richard Goodman and powerlifter Shachar Head follow in their footsteps.

But what next for Israel? This was supposed to be the golden generation, but in the end they had little to show for their efforts. It was failure after failure as the nation’s top athletes buckled on the world stage.

As Solomon told me this week, success shouldn’t be judged just on who wins a medal or finishes first, second or third. It should be judged on small, attainable goals, personal bests, little steps that help keep athletes in the mix.

And it’s worth remembering that this young man played at a Maccabiah Games only three years ago. The same one as Goodman.

Raisman showed great character to bounce back from her disappointment in the Individual All-round competition to finish the Games in style. Both her and Solomon have shown just what is possible when you bring your A-game to the table.

It would be hard not to be inspired by some of the achievements of the Olympians but it’s equally important that we savour the moment and go up from here.

After all, the power of sport speaks volumes. Inspired? You had to be.

    Last updated: 8:22pm, August 9 2012