You may remember swathes of people pre-Olympics treating the incoming sports extravaganza like a plague of locusts on the horizon. Those people, more interested in getting to work on the time than the spectacle about to unfold have certainly shut up now, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find them.
Only the stoniest of souls haven’t been touched in some way by the spectacle on offer at London 2012. As Brits we’re biased and will never forget this truly incredible fortnight (of course, the Paralympics are still to come) but overseas the praise has also been unrelenting.
How high in regard London is held is a discussion for months from now, for sober minds not still buzzing from sporty highs. Probably one of the best attended Olympics ever, even if it wasn’t the boisterous masses either in the arenas or on the streets gave their utmost to make it seem that way.
Cheering our own, our competitors, the winners and losers – as the nation with the world’s greatest sporting event on its doorstep we certainly treated it as such. Fists were clenched, sweat poured, vocal chords were strained and finger nails were bitten as Great Britain celebrated the best of British who formed “Our Greatest Team”.
A naturally pessimistic bunch (that will never change) many Brits were sceptical about our ability to achieve the high target we had set ourselves – and yet we smashed it and found a deeply-buried self-belief in the process.
It probably won’t mark a change the British attitude to sport, and may well just serve as a basis for more moaning in the future but it really doesn’t matter. We had a beautiful two weeks brimming with memories on and off the fields, pitches, courts, roads and tracks.
Whether you watched any of it from the comfort of your own home, with friends, or you were there in the thick of the ecstasy as Britain broke records and smashed through glass ceilings, you will undoubtedly have memories to cherish…
Mo Farah’s last lap of the 10,000m final, Gemma Gibbons spectacular semi-final-winning ippon, Katherine Grainger rowing to gold at long last, Nicola Adams becoming the first ever women’s boxing Olympic champion, Christopher Wiggins taking to the time trial thrown, the various antics of one Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis becoming the best athlete in the world, Sir Chris Hoy on that podium, Sir Steve Redgrave carrying Mark Hunter to his podium place.
The Olympics will always be sport in its purest, most brilliant form – the human spirit showing all that it can achieve as the world watches, euphoria washing over those taking part and looking on. Legends were made, heroes prospered, dreams were realised, tears were wept in defeat, victory and admiration at what pushing through hardship can get you.
Humanity at it’s best.
Great Britain at its best.