Andrew Abbott's Blog

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Time to reflect.

There was a time before the London Olympics began that I really feared the spectacle would resemble the spoof documentary Twenty Twelve rather more closely than we would all have liked. The G4S debacle seemed to indicate that all was not well in the preparations.

All that seems a million miles away now as we digest the magnificence of the closing ceremony and in particular the success of the Great Britain team. The games went ahead with no security issues that we were made aware of. London’s creaky public transport system was discovered to be not so decrepit as we thought. The press, usually desperate to find some way of showing these things in the worst possible light realised the nations preoccupation was the success of our athletes and the way the games were going, starting with Danny Boyles triumph of an opening ceremony.

Quite what Alex Salmond made of all those Scots wrapped in the union flag we don’t know but he must have been the only one in the entire country wishing failure on the proceedings. The truth was no one cared which part of the Union the athletes came from, if they were Brits they were cheered to the rafters. There were some unlikely looking Brits too and no one more so than Mo Farah. What a lovely story that made. Mo’s father is British and the family evacuated from war torn Somalia when he was a child. The rest is history and the crowds attitude was if you’re in the GB vest, you’re one of us and you’re going to be supported as if you had red white and blue coursing through your veins.

Particular highlights for me were the cycling, that’s my passion. Brad Wiggins in particular then later on the track with Sir Chris Hoy bringing down the curtain on a truly magnificent Olympic career, Victoria Pendleton, so strong yet fragile and all the others as the gold’s silver and bronze piled up. The rowers, I just love that commentator and who can forget Gemma Gibbons in the judo, so delighted with her silver medal sobbing all over her opponent?

Where do we go from here? We’re a happier nation, no doubt about that but can we keep that up as the days grow shorter? As for me I’m definitely getting the bike out this weekend. If there’s time.

                                  The big screen in Lincoln where thousands gathered to
                                  cheer on the Brits.

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