Yesterday, I had the pleasure of joining members of the USA Olympic team and young aspiring athletes from schools in the borough at Mile End Stadium, which the US Olympians have taken over for this period for use as their training facility.
It was a great event. The most decorated member the US national team ever and current Chef de Mission, Teresa Edwards, gave an inspiring talk and fielded questions from the young people. She talked about everything from her diet, the training regimes and how hard she worked to make her dreams a reality.
It is fantastic that the USA athletics team chosen a Tower Hamlets sports venue to train during the Olympics.
They’ve put a lot of work into the stadium to bring it up to Olympic standard – resurfacing the track, pole vault and high jump areas and improving the throwing circles. As a special gift to the borough Team USA will be leaving their specialist gym equipment to provide long lasting benefits to the local community.
I was pleased to hear them lavish praise on the facilities and the locality, and tell me how welcome they had felt.
It’s also great that they took the time to talk to our youngsters – who have the potential to be the next generation of British athletes, providing they take on board Teresa’s advice to work hard and stay focussed on their goals.