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Keep Calm and Don't Panic - It's Just the Olympics

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I've had enough. I can't take it any more.

The Olympics began to grate on me from Day 2.

There was a truckload of incredible events to watch, blindingly good performances left (China), right (The U.S.) and centre (Hmmm, France). Even the mooted pain of road closures, Olympic lanes and diversions hadn't been... well, that painful (Christ, I have a Locog CPZ at the end of my street and I can get a park more easily than usual. I hope they keep it there!).

What's putting me off the Games is the commentary.

It took 24 hours for the feelgood factor from the opening ceremony to wear off before the unremittingly negative, fearful and derisive daily summations had begun.

The panicked tones of the commentators after the first day's competition yielded no medals verged on the hysterical - and has since grown. 'Still no gold,' has become a mantra. And it has got to the point where the average man in the street is starting to think it's all gone wrong. On every channel, TV, radio and many papers and websites the glass half-full approach is evident.

On the BBC rather than celebrating a Rebecca Adlington bronze one presenter commented that it was surprising she was celebrating, rather than bemoaning not winning gold. Even Virginia Wade, one of the most sensible and measured commentators in tennis, was tutting about 'missed opportunities' as young Laura Robson stretched four-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova in a tie break that she ended up losing.

Peter Waterfield and Tom Daley put in great performances. And yet all we heard was how they had screwed it all up with one minor imperfection in a difficult dive. It resulted in some idiot, caught up in the hype, tweeting that Daley had 'let down' his dead father. Awful. Stupid. And horribly unnecessary.

Things have gone too far.

And it's not just this Olympics, it's an attitude that over recent years has been near endemic.

I have listened to people complain that Britain is not the sporting power it once was. Of course it isn't. Britain no longer enjoys an unfair sporting advantage over everyone else. The rest of the world caught up. Again, the soul searching over England's poor Ashes record for years against Australia. And now, what do you know, England are the best team in the world. Patience.

Having heard no one could follow the act of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, somehow Danny Boyle brought together a bunch of complicated artistic and historic threads to create the most entertaining spectacular I, or anyone else, can remember at an olympics.

Like the country itself, Beijing might've been epic but London's opening ceremony was endearing and refreshingly unpretentious. It was in particular moments beautiful and awe inspiring. And it was something that actually made people in the street proud to be British, because they could see that all the good in British society which it depicted was real, not some phoney glorification of prowess.

But getting back to the athletes - each one of whom is striving to come first, not second, third or last - they are under enough pressure. They don't need their successes, their personal bests, their non-medal winning British records derided as 'not good enough'.

Have faith that all the money invested in British sport over the past eight years will reap dividends. For every high profile athlete who falls short of matching the expectations of the public and the media, there will be a relative unknown who grasps their chance to become an Olympic champion.

Right now the headlines are 'making the most' of stories about the bronze and sliver medals. And that is a good thing. It's important that those incredible efforts are properly celebrated and given the attention they deserve, for by the end of the Games it will be the gold medalists filling the column inches.

Showing where investment in many of the more minor sports has paid dividends, the bronze medal in the men's team gymnastics seemed to my untutored eye flawless. And it's a nervous spectator sport. You sit on the edge of your seat unsure if you're going to see a one-man spectacular or someone trip and crunch into a vaulting horse or hang themselves on the rings.

That didn't happen. Britain's team were supermen - complete with tights!

And so what if they missed out on silver. Spare a thought for the poor Ukranians, who had the bronze snatched away from them.

The anticipation of under-achievement seems to have become chronically ingrained in a lot of people in Britain today - the gnawing fear that British athletes will fall at the last hurdle. There is a sense in this country that Britain is more likely to disappoint than to inspire in sport - but there is no more evidence of Britain's achievements being any better or worse than comparable nations.

And traditionally the country has done better in the later scheduled events. As a boy I would watch my home nation of Australia rack up a huge tally of gold medals at every Commonwealth Games, charging ahead of everyone early on, mainly due to our superiority in the pool. But when the swimming was done and the athletics began it was always Britain that came home strong with a wet sail, out gunning all comers in the second half of the Games.

I still support Australia, but it's Britain I'd like to see do well at London 2012.

More than that, I'd like to see the nation get this monkey off it's back. I'd like to see it give itself and it's sportsmen and women some credit, and to put it all in the right perspective.

Trust that by the end of the Games there will be a swag of medals (of all colours) to reflect back on. For there will be.

In the meantime I'm watching the coverage with the sound down.