'I never did become Ron Delaney, but the dreaming never did me any harm'
by YouGov in Sports Lab
Fri August 3, 3 p.m. BST
We've been inviting YouGov panellists to articulate their take on the Olympics - what it means to them, and why - to get a flavour of some of our panellists' views from up and down the UK.
Mac, 63 from Yeovil in Somerset - a YouGov panellist of three and a half years - thinks back on listening to his first Olympics experience at the age of 7 - and how things have moved on since then
**Please note, these are Mac's personal thought, and do not necessarily reflect the views of YouGov.
"My earliest Olympic memory is of Ron Delany in Melbourne in 1956. I was just seven years old but wanted to run like him. I lived in Sri Lanka - then Ceylon - and of course there was no television, just the BBC World Service, but the pictures were crystal-clear and I ran every step with him.
"Up to that moment my ambition had been to be Godfrey Evans [the cricketer] but three and a half minutes changed that for the next few years. In 1960 I wanted to be Herb Elliot and so on.
"Back then, Olympians inspired us. We didn't ever think that they might have been taking drugs or having their blood changed.
"They were athletic Gods who still did the day job and trained, come rain or shine, for those few moments in the sun - unless, of course, they were in the Soviet army...
"Age, the dawn of professionalism and positive tests stripped away the illusions and the magic until now I sit and watch, pondering which nation has the best pharmacists. I wonder if that is simply the effect of growing older, of always looking for the worm in the apple, or whether the world really was a better place without the corporate sponsorship, the massive endorsement deals and the instant global televisual coverage.
"Of course the records have tumbled since then but the achievements remain bright; untarnished by controversy, unequalled in their brief moment and the seven year-old boy that lingers yet in the shadow of what I have become is still enraptured by the faded glory of those far-off days.
"I never did become Ron Delany or Herb Elliot, but the dreaming never did me any harm."
Ever harboured Olympic dreams of your own? Share them in the comments below