The unthinkable has happened. I am amazed that the words are emerging from my mouth but I have to say it: I am devastated that the Olympics are over. I will mourn the loss of Gary Lineker, Gaby Logan and that thoroughly nice chap Phil Jones from my screens every day and this is a bizarre concept because normally when I think of sport, my attitude is largely ‘meh’.
In the run-up to the Games I was apathetic. I genuinely did not care that the ‘Biggest Show on Earth’ was rolling in to town. I didn’t bother to read about it, I ignored the posters which urged me to rethink my route to work – I basically pretended it wasn’t happening. That is until Danny Boyle went and blew my tiny little mind. I tell you what, the moment that The Queen indulged in a spot of adrenaline sports with the world’s greatest spy, I was hooked and I have been every day since.
I think that even the biggest sceptic will agree that London has well and truly taken care of business. Even the Underground – normally a breeding ground of misery, despair and body odour – has become a fun place to be. People are actually smiling and talking. I’ll admit that it was slightly unnerving to begin with but once I made the decision to embrace it, I became more than happy to battle suitcases, seas of bright orange T-shirts at 7am and flags flapping in my face to be a part of it.
The whole thing has made me proud to be a Londoner, proud to be British and, from speaking to my friends and colleagues, it seems that all are having similar thoughts. For such a multicultural country, I think that sometimes we are a little nervous about being too patriotic or waving the Union Jack with pride – people are afraid to offend or be perceived as cocky. For these two weeks, as we have watched our athletes dominate in sports I didn’t even know existed, the country has been united.
Thousands have congregated in our city’s parks, Pimm’s in hand, Union Jacks draped proudly around our shoulders to watch, somewhat tearfully, as athlete after athlete takes to the podium to receive their medal (and their teeny tiny bunch of flowers). I won’t claim to be a fan of Andy Murray but when he beat Federer on Centre Court, I doubt there was a dry eye in the whole of Great Britain as he romantically clambered through the crowd to kiss his girlfriend and then receive an accolade which he has battled for for years.
It hasn’t mattered what event, what athlete, what time, London (and the whole country) has been tuning in. I’ve spent hours just marvelling at the beautiful shots of our city which, let’s be honest, it’s easy to ignore when you are rushing past on your way here and there.
London 2012 has been emotional, it’s been fun, it’s been another event in 2012 which has showcased what a fantastic, kooky, historical and truly spectacular city we are. London, I know it’s lame, but I totally love you right now.
Image by chelmsfordblue courtesy of Flickr