Every magazine, newspaper, website and blog today will no doubt be devoting countless column inches to London 2012 and, as the saying goes, if you can’t beat’em, join em!
There were doubts (particularly from US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney) as to whether London was ready for the Olympics. London proved Romney wrong by not only delivering but shining.
The frantic fortnight of Olympic competition has been fab-u-lous, from start to finish. The opening ceremony – devised by Danny Boyle – kicked off the People’s Games in style. Standouts, for me, included James Bond meeting the Queen, Rowan Atkinson in the orchestra playing Chariots of Fire, the dancing nurses (a tribute to our underrated NHS) and David Beckham entering the stadium in a speed boat!
As for the athletes, what can I say but WOW. Great Britain’s athletes achieved their greatest Olympic success since 1908 cheered on by the Great British public, draped in Union Jack flags. But while Mo Farah’s incredible achievements on the track, Tom Daley’s bronze in the diving , Sir Chris Hoy winning two golds (making him Britain’s greatest ever Olympian) and Andy Murray claiming his first major tennis title, definitely (and deservedly) have a special place in my heart and mind, London 2012 wasn’t all about the Brits. Olympic history was made by American swimmer Michael Phelps, Italian fencer Valentina Vezzali and Jamaica’s charismatic Usain Bolt, to name but a few. All of the sporting triumph (and disaster) was superbly reported by BBC commentators including Clare Balding and Ian Thorpe – an adopted national treasure.
Last night’s closing ceremony, created by choreographer Kim Gavin, which celebrated the best of British (the likes of Annie Lennox, the Spice Girls,Take That, Madness, Russell Brand, ballerina Darcy Bussell et al took to the stage) also impressed.
As did the 70,000 plus volunteers who extended a welcome as warm as the unusually balmy British weather to the many, many visitors (London 2012 is set to go down in history as the most attended games ever). As Lord Coe told the audience: “They have the right to say tonight, ‘I made London 2012.’”
And last but not least, it’s time for Lord Coe himself, to take a bow. All of the above – the brilliant British hospitality, Team GB’s biggest medal haul in more than 100 years, the London 2012 legacy – is down to the vision of the London 2012 chairman, Lord Seb Coe who has rightfully been appointed as global Games legacy ambassador by the PM.
Speaking of which, the final words go to David Cameron who told a Downing Street press conference: "You only need two words to sum up these Games: Britain delivered. We showed the world what we are made of, we reminded ourselves what we can do and we demonstrated that you should never ever count Team GB down and out."
Dave – I couldn’t have put it better myself. Roll on Rio!