How many times over the two weeks of the Olympics have we heard those words? If I had known before it all started that so many British Olympians would exclaim “I can’t believe it” when they have achieved (or exceeded) their goal, I would have kept count. (you never know when such sad information can come in useful). Likewise, I could also have ticked off the number of time a commentator uttered “It's unbelievable” or “incredible”. Are such responses’ indicative of a British lack of confidence?
For me the only reason any one of them are in Team GB is because they are at the top of their game. They are the best. They are ‘extraordinary’. As a contrast, review Usain Bolt’s comments after his triumphs. For him, it was a foregone conclusion that he would be out there in front when it really counted (just a little observation, on Friday night when they come in first, second and third for Jamaica in the Mens 200m, that was also their relevant height with Usain the tallest. Is it down to the length of their legs?)
"I'm a living legend,";
he said, after becoming the first man to successfully defend both 100m and 200m titles. How positive is that? Is this contrast a reflection on our trainers?
For me, an armchair athletic/spectator, this has been a really enjoyable Olympics, when I remember how pissed off I was getting with all the hype beforehand. That bloody torch morning, noon and night. They even had it on Eastenders, well, I ask you – Eastenders – what the hell was that about? It very nearly put me right off.
As a non-participant, I was just happy to see British Olympians taking part, ok so we didn’t win everything, but by George, we really tried. When the difference between first and forth is a few tenths of a second, for me they were all winners. I know they can’t give out gold medals to everyone; rule is rules and all that, but winning by one-hundredth of a second, the slightest margin possible, as the American Nathan Adrian did to win the 100m Olympic freestyle edging James Magnussen into second place. Well all I can say is; it’s a good job I’m not one of the judges.
As I was saying, I have enjoyed these Olympics, mainly from the comfort of the armchair where I could pick and choose from what was on offer. I know its jumping ahead a bit, but between now and Rio I will be listening out for the tell-tale words that our future Olympians use. How many will just be looking forward to going to Rio, and how many will be looking forward to setting new records, retaining titles and winning Gold (or becoming a legend)?
Other than the participants, there were other winners in these Olympics. One of the first winners (before the games even started) were the Chinese. Just how much of the 2012 Olympic mugs, flags, you name it was made in China. (I think the same can be said for the Queen's Jubilee). There must have been tons of it shipped over here, and looking round the local shops and supermarkets there will be tons of it being sold off cheap or going into landfill. Having said that, it looks like many other countries were also in the supply line.
Among the other winners were those with tickets to get into the various venues and see it all live. Even via the television it was easy to pick up on the atmosphere, at times it was electric. And that’s another thing, it seemed to me that it didn’t matter what country they represented, the audience cheered them all onto victory (Ok, so the roar was louder for the British).
Did you enjoy the opening ceremony? I did. It was such a surprise and I think it was the way it was played out that set the pride in being British into the whole affair. And there was a LOT of pride about during those two weeks. Obviously pride in the British Olympians, but also in the way it was organised and above all, represented by the volunteers (surely they’ll get some sort of medal won’t they?). Well done Seb Coe and company. It was sad to see David 'call me Dave' Cameron jumping on the band wagon at the end – please keep Politicians out of it.
Did you enjoy the closing ceremony? I didn’t (well, not much of it). Maybe this says a lot about me but the thing that stuck in my mind more than anything else was the short piece of music from the film ‘Dances with Wolves’, played when the torch was lowered. What was that about? I know the music score was written by the late John Barry and he was British, but surely that wasn’t the link was it? There are so many other pieces of music they could have chosen instead of the theme from an American western.
Has it left me with a legacy for the future? Yes, and all the other tax payers will be paying for this for many years to come.
Here’s to Rio.