Love, courage and solidarity: 20 essential lessons young athletes taught us this summer

Marcus Rashford, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles and Tom Daley – from the Euros to Wimbledon to the Olympics, this season’s biggest stars have shown success is about much more than trophies

The Olympics are racing towards the finishing line; the Euros gave us euphoria and heartbreak; and Wimbledon revealed that the true hero on Centre Court was not an Adonis in crisp tennis whites, but rather a middle-aged vaccine researcher. More than anything, though, this summer has thrown a spotlight on the inspiring and surprising strength and character of young people like never before.

We have watched elite athletes behave with the sort of dignity and respect that world leaders would do well to emulate. They have competed under intense global scrutiny at the highest levels and never lost sight of the fact that how you behave matters more than the goals you score or the aces you serve. Here are 20 things we learned about youth politics and culture from an astonishing summer of sport.

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