Comment: How we should celebrate Greg’s glorious gold

The 'Welcome Home Greg' sign in Woburn Sands
The 'Welcome Home Greg' sign in Woburn Sands

It may seem like a distant memory now but over a week ago Greg Rutherford jumped 8.31 metres from athlete to Olympic Champion.

As the dust settles on the ‘greatest show on earth’ towns and cities around the country are welcoming their heroes home and finding ways to honour them.

Each of the athletes’ home towns have honoured them by painting postboxes in the area gold and we were no exception.

Now the real question emerges, how do we honour our hometown hero?

Rumours have been rife over what Milton Keynes will come up with since John Inverdale’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion that we may name a roundabout after Greg.

Others have toyed with the idea of renaming Station Square, thought to be the gateway to the city, after the Ginger Wizard.

Some have even said we should build a new roundabout that was 8.31 metres in diameter or paint a golden strip somewhere in the city of equal distance to show just how far Greg jumped.

All cute ideas but not big enough.

I’m not thinking of something completely overboard and I’m not saying that these are bad ideas per se but I think that any type of tribute has to be big so that everyone can see it.

Whatever the final idea it must have prominence or be in a place that can be seen by a lot of people on a regular basis

If we rename Station Square a prominent sign should be accompanied with suitable artwork etc; if we rename a roundabout it should be the busiest one in the city and if we build a new one then it should be a special design based around theOlympic theme ‘inspiring a generation’.

Either way this should not be a missed opportunity; Greg has trained diligently for years and brought home a gold he promised us for the past year he would win. When he landed that fourth jump we were all on the edge of our seats.

Greg’s win was one of my personal highlights of the Games. I was not in Milton Keynes at the time but was quick to remind everyone in earshot that he was from MK. A city that should honour him with freedom of the borough.

Too grand an idea? Not at all. Greg is undoubtedly a hero who’s really put MK on the map.

Not only that but his incredible achievement epitomises the Olympic spirit and will hopefully go on to inspire a generation of athletes here in his home town, not only at Marshall Athletic Club where it all started for him but at other sporting clubs around the city.

But for now let’s bask in the glow of Greg’s Olympic gold and really honour a man who lived up to his magical title of the Ginger Wizard.