OK. I admit it, i was wrong.
I thought the Olympics would be a big, fat, embarrassing series of expensive failures.
From the ‘countdown’ to the opening ceremony and the strains of Baba O’Reilly i was hooked.
The ceremonies themselves were a magnificent celebration of Britishness. Who cares if non Brits thought they were rubbish…. they were awesome for us Brits! The industrial revolution, James Bond, The Queen and Mr bloody Bean! Eric Idle, Darcy Bussell, John Lennon and Freddie Mercury!!
The games themselves were fantastic, records fell, boundaries were broken, legends were born. Even a Frenchman called it the greatest games ever!
I freely admit that i’m fiercely English and i only ever call myself British during the Lions tour, but the patriotism and jingoism (that ones for you Dad!) were infectious and i have been swept along in the red, white and blue tide.
I never thought i would cheer on a 10’000 meter runner, or a pistol shooter, or a sailor, or a Horse Rider, but almost all day every day i’ve had Radio 5 on, or one of the many BBC Olympic channels and i’ve been supporting some of the most random sports at the games, and i have loved every minute.
On TalkSPORT today they (Durham and Gough) were claiming the Olympics a waste of money, as its cost roughly 4.5 million pounds per medal won by Britain. erm…. Well for a start off, why are only British medals included in the running costs? There have been some great moments for ALL the medal winners as well as British and Foreign non-medalists… why is the cost being considered only for the perceived British winners? Tell Lawrence Clark that money was wasted. That guy was SO happy to be in a final and finish 4th. For him London 2012 was life changing. Tell Oscar Pistorious that only winners matter. He made history just by being there. For HIM London 2012 was life changing. Australia underperformed, but do you think they would have rather not have had the chance to compete? course not!!!
The Olympic values are Excellence, Respect and Friendship, Nowhere is WINNING mentioned. We as a nation seem to have embraced the ‘its not the winning, its the taking part’ to our hearts, whereas our media seem to still judge us solely on getting medals. These guys have trained for 4 years for these games, give them credit for 4 years of their blood, sweat, tears and sacrifices and not for getting medals! We all like to see winners, but all the team went there to perform, and largely they did, with a few notable exceptions, but with some of the higher profile failures (e.g Phillips Idowu) the reaction from SOME media outlet was unfair and unkind to a guy who has served us brilliantly over the last 8 or so years!
As for the ‘groundbreaking games’….and the legends it created…well….
Womens boxing for the first time ever. Katy Taylor of Ireland and Nicola Adams of Team GB (amongst others) became instant national heroines when they won their respective golds, so i guess the new sport was a success!
How about Saudi Arabia sending their first female athletes? Thats a MASSIVE step!!
How about Michael Phelps becoming the greatest Olympian ever? Usain Bolt and the triple double? Chris Hoy becoming the most decorated GB athlete ever? Mo Farah winning the first ever GB long distance gold….and then getting the 2nd a week later? How about all 13 British crews getting to the finals of the rowing? and first female gold rowing medals for GB! Ben Ainslie and his 4th straight gold? Oscar Pretorious running in an Olympic final despite being a double leg amputee!? David Rudisha proving to be the best 800 meter runner of all time by smashing Seb Coe’s record…..and an extended member of the GlawsFamily becoming the first ever royal medalist!!!
A thousand memories from 16 days.
Roll on the paralympics…
The Olympics has proven to me that we have a nation (or nations) that DESERVES to be celebrated, we DESERVE the right to be patriotic. Hopefully there will be no more council led bullshit that you can’t fly the national flags for fear of offending people. We welcomed the world and we treated them to the greatest show on earth!
To all the athletes, coaches and officials, to the soldiers, the security and the police, to the fans, the volunteers and to the BBC…. I thank you. It was awesome!
Best of all…. we proved Mitt Romney wrong…. Vote Obama!
Rio…. you have a tough act to follow, but hey….at least you have RUGBY!