So something happened in Syria over the weekend, or was it the Gaza strip? Who knows?! I’m unable to process anything without the decidedly discomforting Olympic logo plastered on. I watched 6 of the 7 golds this weekend – all were incredible! But without the lure of semi precious metal suspended on ribbon from the necks of a fraction of our talented cast of hundreds, it’s unlikely you would find me watching sport. You know it too, that if we were still 11th in the medal table, languishing there behind Kazakhstan, you’d have spent your weekend much differently.
That winning has a securely positive impact on participation is no surprise and that we are glued to the 100,000+ hours of sports across the BBC is also unremarkable at its core. Even the U turn by the majority of newly patriotic Brits is unsurprising as the perceived Games ennui stretching back to the ’05 announcement from Danny Boyle’s extravaganza Friday week, has all but faded as we band together to ‘inspire a generation’. Even Charlie Brooker has crawled from his den of cynicism to remark quietly that its actually been quite good. The Olympics that is, not cynicism.
On cynicism though, if you expected a rant about a certain long faced frowner being Scottish 4 weeks ago on the same court where he was just 5 days ago, embraced as the nation’s best tennis hope, you will be disappointed. This is mostly because in my excitement at Andy Murray’s final triumphant ace I rocketed so high on my bar stool that there was almost an embarrassing and fairly self prophesying confirmation of my widely understood clumsiness – reports of which have been greatly exaggerated, and so I don’t really want to talk about it. Additionally and more embarrassingly it only came to my attention this week, yes, in Sir Chris Hoy’s retiring year, that he is Scottish. Presumably he has never lost anything allowing him to avoid being referred to as Scottish instead of British; perhaps the penetration of specialist sports like speed cycling is so low that not even the lure of being able to champion my home nation could draw me to it, until faced with an event such as London 2012 where it is both inescapable and preferable to reruns of Come Dine With Me.
The excitement and general ignorance to anything else happening in the world continues past the closing ceremony on through September 5th which shall see me watching some medalling (which is a word. Sorry, Kate) after the Wheelchair Fencing at The Excel –surely the least impressive of the Olympic venues, after the Orbit – and the next few weeks will be spent scanning @2012ticketalert for returns on the Paralympian Athletics. So although you might never know it from some of the commentators – silver medal winners, otherwise termed as second best in the entire world at their discipline, have been asked “what went wrong!?” rather than told “Congratulations! You’re a medal winner at the Olympics!” – the winning and the taking part both count in these, the Public Transport games.