Winning Words - inspiring poetry for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

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Posted: 10 December 2010

Winning Words, an opportunity for the public to be part of the lasting legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is announced today. Winning Words is asking people to nominate inspiring poetry which will encourage athletes taking part in the 2012 Games, as well as future generations of Londoners.

From today, as announced on BBC Radio 4, until Thursday 6 January 2011, people can nominate inspiring poetry representing the values of the Olympic Games: respect, fair play, excellence, friendship and of the Paralympic Games: courage, determination, inspiration and equality, via the Winning Words website.

The poetry, selected from the nominations, will be announced in February 2011. The lines will be installed on a prominent wall in the centre of the Athletes' Village, which will be seen daily by the athletes, and officials living and working in the Village. After the 2012 Games, the Village will be converted into new homes for east London and the wall will be part of the lasting legacy for local communities and residents.

All nominations will be evaluated by a panel that includes Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, author Sebastian Faulks, poet Daljit Nagra, BBC Sports presenters John Inverdale and Clare Balding and Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy at the Olympic Delivery Authority, Sarah Weir.

The panel will have the final decision on which poetry is chosen for the Athletes' Village wall. Poetry will also be installed in other locations within the Olympic Park, with further details announced in 2011.

What will you choose? Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken which ends with the verse:

‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.'

or you might agree with BBC sports broadcaster John Inverdale's suggestion, The Victor by CW Longenecker, which includes the verse:

‘If you think you'll lose, you're lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.'

or Jeffrey Archer's nomination:

‘The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.'

from The Ladder of St. Augustine by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sebastian Coe, London 2012 Chairman, says:

‘The Olympic Village is unique in sport, and provides both sanctuary and a place of equilibrium for athletes during the intensity of competition. This is a great initiative that will help make the Village an inspiring place for athletes during the Games, and provide a further legacy for local communities living there for many years after 2012.'

William Sieghart, who conceived Winning Words and founded National Poetry Day, comments:

‘I'm delighted that poetry will be one of the ways of inspiring athletes as they compete in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It's wonderful that the ODA and LOCOG are recognising the power of poetry to motivate and rouse people. I'm looking forward to hearing suggestions from around the country.'

Inspiring poetry nominations can be submitted from today until midnight on Thursday 6 January 2011.

To nominate poetry and for further information please go to:

Categories: Poetry News

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