I admit it, I'm not a sports fan. I've always thought that watching people cycle is dullsville, and will never understand how a marathon (it's people WALKING! In bunny costumes!) is considered a television event. I was even one of those people who resented the Olympics for the hassle it would cause to public transport and how much it would cost. (Montreal took 30 years to pay off the debt from their 1976 hosting duties...)
From the very start, it seemed that everything about our hosting would be tarnished with the crappy, incompetent bungling that we're used to from our government. The "Lisa Simpson committing a lewd act" logo caused public outcry; it cost us £400,000 but it turned out that running a contest in a newspaper (see above) would have found better results. Where's Blue Peter when you need them? (I think the one in the top left-hand corner, incorporating "2012" into "London" is particularly ingenious, so I'm just going to pretend to myself that this was the official logo.)
Yes, I got sucked into every second of it, from the opening ceremony onwards. I found myself musing on ways we could “improve” the show next time. For instance, we could dress up the shot putters like Roman gladiators. (What? I think it would be fun, and really add something to the atmosphere!) Even better, why not have a fun “sports day” after the real events have finished, when there is no pressure to win? (This is the flipside of getting into the games; I can’t bear to see their little faces fall when they miss out by 0.10 of a second). Wouldn’t we all like to see our sporting heroes compete in a sack race or the egg and spoon race? And just have FUN?
It’s been an amazing three weeks, Britain has probably never been happier, and don’t you just love it when the worst news you can find in the papers is that your country only got silver, not gold? I think we need to have a big rousing chorus of “We are the champions!” to celebrate. Not the Queen song – this one.