I’ve been toying with the idea of writing an Olympic blog post recently, but wasn’t sure where to start. There’s almost too much to say, too much for one post, too much for one person. But the Olympics have saturated daily life for me, and probably the rest of Britain, so it seemed rude not to.
It’s been a very un-British couple of weeks. Far from the status quo of cynicism and misery, we’ve been celebrating. Celebrating! And the exact turning point was the opening ceremony.
Four years ago I was lucky enough to go to Beijing, which was a real milestone in my life. I got the chance to watch a rehearsal of their opening ceremony in the Birds Nest, and watched the real thing with my friends, and seemingly half of Beijing, on a big screen in Beihai park.
It’s fair to say I was slightly apprehensive about the home leg, but I needn’t have worried.
I’m not going to review the opening ceremony, you’ve all seen it, but I am going to reiterate just how good it was.
Team GB had a tentative start, but our nerves were soon put to rest. We’ve been treated to 29 gold, 17 silver, and 19 bronze medals. It became the norm to wake up and think, “What are we going to win today?”
As spectators, we often have our hopes raised and expectations built up, only to be followed by that familiar feeling of disappointment. It’s a British characteristic to root for the underdog so it’s no surprise that we’re seldom celebrating.
During the build up there was a lot of promise, but a lot of expectation, and for Team GB to surpass that has been a joy to watch. I didn’t know long distance running could be so captivating, and I had no idea the cycling sprint was so bizarre.
I didn’t make it to London, but I did catch some Olympic football closer to home, at the City of Coventry stadium (aka Ricoh Arena). I’m not a football fan, but any excuse for a Mexican wave.