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Carla Buzasi

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The Week That Was: Great Britain

Posted: 12/08/2012 00:00

As I type this, I should probably be wearing a pair of those cheesy Olympic-five-ring sunglasses, with a fake Union Jack tattoo on my ankle and a cuddly Wenlock tucked under my arm.

I'm not, for the record, having just about got my love affair with London 2012 in check, but it's been something of a head vs heart battle.

From twenty-something, gold-medal-winning cyclists caught kissing on camera and convention-defying, hijab-wearing female runners to dancing horses (or disco horses, as a member of my team christened them, looking somewhat puzzled when we switched the news screens in the office to dressage) and a certain someone's awe-inspiring abs, week two of the greatest Olympic games ever (they are, I don't care if it's not cool to say it) has been as brilliant as the first.

The medals have continued to flow, we actually saw a Brit win on the centre court at Wimbledon and people are even smiling on the Tube (as Londoner for the past 10 years, that's something I never thought I'd see).

Never mind that as Victoria Pendleton scooted around the Veldrome, most of us were shouting at the TV, "What the hell is going on? Why are they going slow first and then fast? I don't understand!?!?"

Never mind that they took Ian Thorpe off our screens far too early.

Never mind that David Cameron's office can't work out when it's right to post pictures of the PM watching TV and when it's so staged Twitter almost falls over with the hilarity of it all.

What has mattered is the smiles, the feel-good fun of it all, and the sense of a country coming together to pat itself on the back with a job well done. And we've still got the Paralympics to come! Brilliant.

Of course, the doom and gloom is coming. You can feel the ripples already with columnists lining up to predict an Olympic aftermath of riot repeats, austerity bites and general national malaise.

Except, even taking into account all of that, and not forgetting the Games haven't been a breeze for everyone - thinking especially of those independent retailers who've failed to see the promised surge in takings - the legacy of these few weeks must surely have a fighting chance of being felt.

Whether that manifests itself in true inspiration for the next generation, and a tangible uptake in sport, or even if it just means young girls now aspire to grow up to be Jessica Ennis rather than TOWIE's Jessica Wright, the foundations are definitely there, and it's up to us all to build on them.

 

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