Team GB are certainly firing on all cylinders at the moment and punching above their weight in the Olympic medal league table.
When our victorious heroes return home, the debate is sure to begin about whether our golden girls and boys should automatically receive a Queen’s honour for their efforts.
The answer is, of course, yes.
Should Andy Murray OBE be upgraded?
The honours system exists to highlight and reward two types of people. Firstly, selfless, giving people who are charity or community focused and secondly, those who have excelled in their chosen field such as eminent surgeons, academics, business leaders and of course sports people. Olympic gold medal winners are by definition leaders in their field and at the top of their game and should therefore be legitimately recognised by the honours system.
Those who suggest otherwise are implying that sporting success is somehow less important than success in other fields and that’s simply not the case. There is however a strong case for saying that the gold medalists should also be expected to help others in one way or another and I imagine most, if not all, are naturally doing so.
All the Beijing Olympic gold medal winners in 2008 received a gong but not all gold medal winners from the 2012 London Olympics where as lucky, so there are no hard and fast rules.
If all our golden athletes are to get the royal treatment, the next logical question is what level of honour should they receive and should those with gongs already, like tennis supremo Andy Murray OBE, automatically receive an upgrade?
This is where the water gets even murkier than that in the Rio Olympic pool. The level of honour given should be driven primarily by the geographical spread of the recipients influence. So for example, someone operating at a local level such as a long serving scout leader or Woman’s Institute devotee would usually be at the lower end whereas an eminent surgeon who has a national or international impact as a leader in their field would tend to be at the higher end. So where does that leave our golden boys and girls? Common sense would suggest that they are leaders in their field at an international level, so does that mean they should all get a knighthood or damehood? Highly unlikely I think. More chance of an MBE. But that’s usually for people operating at a local level I hear you screaming. You are of course correct.
I feel a storm brewing off Copacabana beach and a strong westerly wind building that should blow a heavy down pour of controversy across Britain next week.
Watch this space.