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"Hope everyone in Wuhan has enjoyed the games"


  Lewis has fallen for Chinese athletes Ning Zetao and Fu Yuanhui

  Lewis Ryder (far right)

  Lewis Ryder

  (Changjiang Weekly's reader in Manchester sharing feelings about the 2016 Olympic Games)

  Coming from a family of football fanatics, Rio 2016 always had big shoes to fill following the hugely entertaining Brazil World Cup 2014. Having enjoyed the European Football Championships in France immensely, the Olympics seemed to come out of nowhere. Without having time to gain my composure, I had missed the opening ceremony and was already screaming encouragement at Adam Peaty in the Men’s 100 breaststroke final. It did not take long to be reminded of the magic of the games. Despite the fact that as a child, Adam was so scared of water he refused to get in the bath, he is now an Olympic champion. Touching stories such as these prove why the Olympics is a sensational occasion.

  I believe that the biggest problem facing television viewers is which sport to watch. Personally, I keep my eye out for the rowing, boxing, football and of course, the 100 meter final. Most of all, I enjoy watching the velodrome cycling, probably because it's a sport that Britain excels in. The sport combines strength, speed, determination but also tactical judgment and patience. I idolize Chris Hoy for his cycling prowess, but also for inspiring masses to dust off their bikes and get fit. This year team GB again demonstrated their strength in the velodrome. Jason Kenny and Laura Trott are the idols of our generation, and also provide a love story to the entertainment.

  For me, an extremely special facet of the Olympics is the competitors' families' reactions to their loved ones' performances. Watching Adam Peaty's grandma and Chris Hoy's parents' tears of jubilation reminds us that this is not just a story about gold, silver and bronze. Instead, there is another story of love, support and sacrifice. The world is entwined for the duration of the games, sharing these moments of joy, despair and disbelief. Anyone who tells you that they have never shed a tear at an Olympic moment is lying!

  There will always be controversy at international sporting events; politics will more often than not tarnish some spectacular moments. This is why it is particularly heartwarming to see differences put aside for the celebration of natural talent, healthy competition and sportsmanship. Watching members of different nations, celebrate, congratulate and offer condolences to each other, reminds us of the delights of sport.

  Whilst waving my Union Jack, I find myself supporting other nations. China has retained a special place in my heart after spending a wonderful ten months in Wuhan. I can happily admit I find myself cheering China's achievements, and that even I have fallen for Ning Zetao. Once more, who cannot find Fu Yuanhui incredibly adorable and hilarious? In addition, it's impossible to not respect the achievements of individual sport stars. Watching Simone Biles performance was poetry in motion, leaving me spell bound. Four years on, and Usian Bolt is still the quickest, and coolest man in athletics!

  Although I was slow to catch on to the hype of the Olympics, it has grabbed my attention day in, day out for the past two weeks. Now Rio is drawing to a close, I cannot wait for Tokyo 2020. Hope everyone in Wuhan has enjoyed the games as much as myself, and you are not too sad that team GB may beat China!