Sunday, August 05, 2012
the greatest show on earth
It is summer in Britain at last, and the weather is even joining in - pretty much. When it rains now, it rains gold. Perfect strangers smile at each other. Slogans sound like wisdom - and they aren't advertising anything, they are inspiring a generation.
Andy Murray has beaten Federer in a final at Wimbledon. Ben Ainslie is the greatest sailor in Olympic history. Jess Ennis is not just the face of the Olympics, she is its heart. And Bradley Wiggins lounged on a throne at Hampton Court having won everything he could.
British gymnasts have won medals.
British people have discovered the opposite of cynicism.
The Royal Triumvirate has been everywhere; William, Kate & Harry have clearly been the reason why so many have struggled to get tickets... But it has been sensational to see their wide-eyed and enthusiastic support mirroring our own from the sofa.
There's a saying that we do well at sports where we sit down - rowing, sailing, cycling. Swimming kind of counts, because basically they are lying down in water. But what about tennis? The heptathlon? The 10,000 metres? The long jump?
Or the organisation of a phenomenal international event?
If Lord Coe could be given some kind of new honour, it should be delivered post-haste, wrapped up in gold paper, with all of us carrying it after we've all signed the thank-you note.
Congrats to all. Congrats to every participant. Every winner. Everybody who has helped and volunteered and simply been there. I've been at one Team GB football match so far. I have tickets for the athletics at the Olympic Stadium twice this week, and at Wembley for the football final. Once in a lifetime. Transforming and defining a nation.
The greatest show on earth.