For over a year I put the dates of the British Olympics in the holiday planner and booked a break in the beautiful Scottish Hebrides far away from all of that hustle and bustle.
You see, I am one of these people who don’t mind playing sport, but can’t stand the idea of sitting there like a couch potato watching it.
Yet something bizarre happened!
It began with Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony. I was going to force myself to watch this if only because – hey – it’s Danny Boyle. I loved the ceremony. The Tolkeinesque opening grabbed me and then there was a fantastic array of British music highlighted. Perhaps the actual highlight was James Bond escorting The Queen to the opening ceremony (certainly an impressive feat to pull off – were those stunt Corgis?). It had Mr Bean (who to be fair I usually loathe) doing Chariots of fire. It had the official bit in the middle which went on for ages featuring (suspiciously) only good-looking people from each country. And to finish (yes we’ll ignore Macca) it had that flame with the countries “coming together”. To be honest by the end I felt proud of all we had accomplished as a nation.
Imagine my surprise when this interest in the Olympics continued. I found myself glued to the telly. Unprecedented! I think early on, the one thing the Olympics highlighted to me is my dislike of “the beautiful game”. You see, I’m really not a football fan. How ironic that the overpaid, overrated players went out on a penalty shoot-out! As this happened early on, it meant that the real talent could come out and shine. And shine it did! In particular I would like to single out Jessica Ennis who was the star of the games for me. To be so fantastic at so many disciplines was completely awe-inspiring. Amazing! For once genuine talent was being showcased on the Telly rather than the usual glut of superficial reality TV and soaps.
Alas, it didn’t quite last as I found the closing ceremony a hodge-podge. Some stuck, some didn’t and some was downright excruciating (such as Russell Brand and Kate Moss’ appearance – if they are representative of what our country has to offer we are in trouble. We may as well have showcased London as a Financial centre and had Bankers burning our money). But even this had some great highlights, the best of which was Eric Idle doing “Always look on the bright side of life”. And yes, he said actually said “shit”. Not seen or heard that in a ceremony before!
Anyway, it’s now over and many are suffering Olympic withdrawal. We still have the Paralympics, which I hope to find equally as inspiring. I probably never will watch sport like this again in my lifetime and will no doubt settle back to my old ways. But this was an event I am glad (for once) I didn’t miss. Now I feel all fired up, ready to go and completely inspired. Thank you Olympians. Let’s make our dreams come true – it can be done!!