Friday, 10 August 2012

Going for Gold

Okay, so I admit it. I’ve been ever so slightly cynical about the Olympics. Call me a pessimist, but I just had visions of an unbearable underground, bursting buses and trains full of tiresome tourists. With the economy on its knees after years of living beyond our means, a massive overspend seemed inevitable – and so did a humongous Council Tax bill to match. With the events of 7/7 occurring just the day after our bid was won, London began to feel very vulnerable – and the Olympics started to look like a missile-magnet long before the first diggers descended on the East End.  In short, I wasn't looking forward to it.

But, you know what? I think the last two weeks have been more than bearable. The bus journey into work has if anything been quicker and, although there have been an increase in cameras, maps and rucksacks worn back to front, Kings Cross hasn’t felt much busier than normal. And, what’s more, I think it has put everyone in a good mood. The news has been dominated by gold medals won rather than jobs, businesses and, essentially, money lost. People are proud of their country again – Britain is great once more. Even I was moved to see little Jess Ennis win her gold (it was on in the pub) and felt a shiver run down my spine as I walked through the streets of South London last Saturday night to the sound of elated cheering coming from every direction.  And, despite a little bit of a slip up with security, I don't think our mates Seb and Boris have done a bad job.  In fact, if TFL functioned without line closures and the rest of London ran this smoothly all of the time... okay, so that might be a taking it too far.  Let's just leave it that I am quietly impressed.

So, as the closing ceremony approaches, maybe I feel a little bit of regret for not getting a bit more behind Team GB. Okay, so I’ve kept an eye on the results table and put it on for a bit of background telly once in a while, but I’ve not exactly got Olympic fever. But I think it is fair to say that the rest of the country has got into the swing of it and, for the first time in ages, there’s a whiff of optimism in the air. And, as far as I am concerned, is a result worth waiting for.

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