THERE is a huge difference between self-belief and self-delusion.
Self belief turns a naturally gifted, well supported and hard working athlete into a medal winner.
Self-delusion is what the loony fringe of British nationalists show when they attribute GB medal success to Brexit.
The European referendum result came as a surprise to everyone – including the leaders of the Leave campaign. Yet the bonkers faction of Brexiteers want us to believe that it somehow put a rocket under the UK team in Rio.
The sports men and women who helped GB secure its No 2 place behind America on that final Olympic scoreboard have been training with utter dedication for years.
But according to Tory MP leaver Michael Fabricant, GB’s place near the top of the medals table was nothing to do with their hard work. It’s “All because of Brexit!” he wrote on social media.
Fabricant and his ilk also glory in the Olympic achievements of English-speaking countries with the hashtag #anglosphere.
There is something vaguely racist about the suggestion that the language you speak, or an anglo-saxon heritage, somehow makes you superior on the running track or velodrome.
Fabricant’s Tory colleague Heather Wheeler was even more offensive when she appeared to suggest the British Empire was responsible for the 21st-century sporting success.
The South Derbyshire MP shared a graphic with a medals table, split between “Rest of World”, “British Empire” and “EU post-Brexit”. Others took to social media pointing out than the Empire no longer existed.
Read the rest of my column here.