The White Rose is flying high and proud today and I could not be happier. The news that if Yorkshire was a country it would be 7th in the Olympic medal tables fills me with pure joy. I have long known that we were the greatest county, and now there is proof. Jessica Ennis, heptathlon champion and Sheffield lass, is bringing her Gold medal back to ‘Gods Own County’, along with three other athletes.
Ed Clancy, a lad from Huddersfield, won gold for Great Britain in the men’s team pursuit in cyclising.
Andrew Triggs Hodge, a rower raised in Hebden Bridge, was one of Team GB’s gold-winning men’s coxless fours crew.
Katherine Copeland, who hails from Stokesley (my neck of the woods) won the women’s lightweight double sculls with Sophie Hosking.
It doesn’t stop at Gold ladies and gentleman, oh no.
Lizzie Armitstead, Otley, silver in the women’s cycling road race.
Nicola Wilson, Northallerton, silver in the team eventing competition with Zara Phillips, William Fox-Pitt, Mary King and Tina Cook.
Rower Tom Ransley, part of the British men’s eight crew which won bronze. Although he had the bad fortune to be born a Southerner, he worked hard and managed to York University and has competed for York City Rowing Club.
It is clear that a diet of Yorkshire puddings, Cooplands sausage rolls and Parmos is not as bad for us as we first thought. That means that Yorkshire is higher than New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, traditional higher flyers Australia, and even Russia! Let’s just analyse that last fact shall we. Russia has an approximate population of 143 million. Yorkshire has a population of just over 4 million. That is scientific proof that Yorkshire is 35.75 times better than a country that has a seat on the UN Security Council.
And it doesn’t end there. Two brothers from Leeds, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, aged 24 and 22, are tipped for medal glory in the men’s triathlon this Tuesday at Hype Park.
This is a genuine opportunity for Yorkshire to reinvent its image. We can move away from the old stereotypes. No longer will we be seen as squat faced, flat capped casual racists, but a home of sporting greatness. With the Artic Monkeys playing at the opening the games, Yorkshire is changing its identity. We are the home of Ennis, Copeland, Clancy and Triggs Hodge. We are home to almost a third of GB’s medals. We are the source of some of Britain’s greatest musical and cultural talent. We are Britain’s greatest county.
Now, I hope you will all join me is a chorus of WHITE ROSE, WHITE ROSE, WHITE ROSE, WHITE ROSE!