To quote Andie Macdowell…
“is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.” Alright, this might have been the worst line delivered by the worst actress in a film my husband absolutely detests (Four Weddings in case you were wondering) but it does neatly sum up our household reaction to anything that isn’t Olympic-related at the moment. We simply have watched / discussed / read about nothing else for the last ten days. Are there still more than two TV channels? I hadn’t noticed…
And this is strange, because before the Opening Ceremony, I couldn’t really have given a fig about the Olympics. If pushed I would have admitted to having been slightly nervous that as a nation we might have been about to fall flat on our collective face on the world stage what with all those security scare stories, G4S shortcomings and the media’s general scepticism that we’d ever do it even half as well as Beijing, but as for the possibility of spending two weeks glued to the action, ha, no chance!
But then Danny Boyle did something amazing. In one evening, he turned the heads of a nation and caught the imaginations of apathetic viewers like me and suddenly, we were open-mouthed as the Queen jumped out of a helicopter and James Bond negotiated corgis, we found ourselves waking up the boys to explain the ins and outs of the Industrial Revolution with the help of the ever-adorable Kenneth Branagh and we hid (just a little) behind cushions in the scary Voldemort meets Peter Pan bit.
That feeling of national pride has gathered momentum since that first night and we have watched, gasped, shouted, jumped about and even cried a bit as Gold after Gold has come our country’s way. We’ve fallen for Ian Thorpe, giggled affectionately along with Clare Balding and have admired the endless professionalism of Jake Humphrey, Gaby Logan and Gary Lineker. Super Saturday was one of those nights we’ll remember forever and I’m so glad the boys watched it with us too - talk about ways to fire young children’s ambitions.
And of course, I’m not alone in this euphoric conversion to all things Olympic. My new toy twitter is almost full of nothing else. Having joined the ranks of tweeters during the Games, I am sort of wondering what people tweet about when we’re not hosting the greatest global spectacle on earth, but I guess time will tell.
So what is it about these Games that have made us as a nation, stand together? Well, for one, we’re darned proud I guess. We’ve put on a brilliant show, the venues are breath-taking, our athletes are incredible, the organisation supreme and the staff polite and courteous. Even Seb Coe and Boris can be forgiven their previous awkwardness. All the pre-Games travel chaos doomsayers have been silenced as London copes elegantly with its swelled population. Alright, the Olympic village duvet covers leave a bit to be desired and (shock, horror) Macca was a bit wobbly on his Hey Jude intro, but our little country - the same place that was rocked twelve months ago by the mindless violence and hatred of rioting mobs - has come together and shown the world what is great about Great Britain and I, for one, am very, very proud.