Games and Jubilee restore our pride
Last updated at 12:29, Wednesday, 08 August 2012
I DON’T care what all the moaning minnies have to say about the cost of the Olympics – it’s been worth every penny.
All those years of dedication, determination, sacrifice and endurance have paid off for our marvellous Team GB athletes who have brought the country together in an upsurge of pride and patriotism.
As the optimists among us rightly predicted, Britain and London came good when it mattered. The Olympics are a glorious, exhilarating, stupendous example of everything that is good about this country. I for one have been glued to the telly with a dedication to the cause nearly on a par with that of our Olympians.
Normal service has been suspended for the duration, as I have made it my mission these past few days to sample, from a prone position on the sofa, every sport the Olympics has to offer.
From the beach volleyball, to the slightly bizarre keirin cycling event, to the Greco-Roman wrestling (the match I watched appeared to feature two of Willy Wonka’s oompa loompas rolling around on a rubber mat), I’ve been in there, groaning, gasping and cheering with the rest of the fantastically partisan crowds.
Our athletes have left the rest of Europe trailing in the medal tables (what on earth has happened to Germany, by the way?), with only the might of China and the USA ahead of us. Not bad for a country whose successive governments have spent the last few decades marginalising competitive sport in our state schools.
The only sport I haven’t bothered to watch is the football, in which our national side have, as usual, failed to cover themselves in glory, crashing out with boring predictability in a penalty shoot-out.
My best friend is one of the volunteers helping at the Games. She has been based in the royal box at Wembley; and reports that Prince William and David Beckham are very friendly – and the Beckham boys are beautifully mannered.
“I’m just so proud to be involved,” she told me. “Strangers come up when they see my uniform and start talking to me on the train. There’s a great atmosphere in London and I feel part of something very special.”
She’s right, something very special is happening. Forget for the moment the recession; forget the banking scandals; forget the Leveson inquiry; forget that this time last year Britain was a riot-torn international disgrace.
The London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee have restored our sense of national pride and identity. They’ve given us something to shout about, to celebrate and to revel in. As I write, Britain has won its first show jumping gold in 60 years, in an edge-of-the-seat thriller. Two members of the team are in their 50s.
As we rev up for what will surely be a marvellous closing ceremony (provided Paul McCartney has been put out to grass), we should savour every moment of what’s happening here in Britain in 2012. It is once-in-a-lifetime, special stuff indeed.
First published at 12:28, Wednesday, 08 August 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Gary - 'What has the Olympics got to do with the NHS' rather ironically, the NHS featured heavily in Danny Boyles' Olympics opening ceremony, I know which I'm more proud and supportive of. Londodn act like an affluent and independent country that occasionally gives aid packages to it neighbours i.e. the rest of the UK,
Charlie get over it,people like you like to live in caves etc move on
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