Read any biography of a great man or woman and you will almost always find evidence of the ruthlessness, cruelties and immoralities that arose from their single-minded pursuit of greatness.
A song by Erin K is like no other.
Yes, London 2012 is for many, just a long and distant memory of a fantastic story the world will never forget. We miss the Games as much as anybody else; the longing pang to be reunited with our shark-like stage striking often- but it's okay. It escaped 'Free Willy'-style and now lives in the ocean deep. (Maybe.)
In almost every international tournament, Britons baying for success end up disappointed, often before the event is even half way through. As a nation, we stand these people - who regularly end up in the newspaper for one nightclub misdemeanour or another, one extramarital trifling or another, or the occasional on-pitch inappropriate remark - on pedestals and eulogise them as pillars of our nation.
Philippe Gilbert is a worthy world champion. Ask around the peloton and the team cars and everyone will tell you the same thing. Not just for the way he won this race, impressive though that was, but for the way he has built an entire career towards this moment.
No one was more surprised than me that I did actually manage to undertake some sporting activities last week, but I've yet to report back on my holiday activities in full, and as an historian (if you count a 2.2 in Contemporary History from the University of Sussex as qualification of this) I have huge respect for chronology.
There's a bigger legacy on the horizon, one which was not a part of the initial plans but has long been a frustrated dream that is now on the brink of being realised: tilting London's centre of gravity a few degrees to the east...
In the weeks leading up to the Paralympics the air was filled with a familiar, silent contradiction. The predominant line focused on how inspiring it was going to be, seeing athletes perform and overcome, despite their disabilities. At the same time, a ComRes poll found that sixty-six percent agreed that "people with disabilities are often regarded as second-rate citizens".
Last week, I went on a bit of a holiday. But there's no rest for the wicked, nor for those attempting to have a crack at every single Olympic sport, so I return with more tales of my sporty exploits, for which I know you will be grateful now that the actual real Olympics are over and we have to go back to talking about the economy, winter and all other things depressing.
As the last of the bunting is swept up and empty bottles gathered for recycling, thoughts inevitably turn towards The Legacy. Legacy was a cornerstone of our bid, and up until that opening scene of the opening ceremony had only really ever been contemplated in terms of the sporting legacy. "Good sport make good people do good sport..."
Yet, as the lights came down on the final day of the 'greatest show on earth', I was left asking the uncomfortable question - what next for this great nation?
The Olympic and Paralympic Games have been a huge success and demonstrated what can be achieved by the public and private sectors working together to ...
The Paralympic closing ceremony has finished. London 2012 is over and the Olympic flame is undoubtedly already covered in glitter, doused in caipirinha and in between a dancers butt cheeks as it makes it's merry way to Rio.
I loved this summer, even though we didn't go away and the sun wasn't always shining. I loved it as a sports fan and a Londoner. And I'm so glad that now everyone knows how great both those things can be.
The Olympics, apparently, has had the fortunate side effect of making us more human. But we didn't need fixing. We weren't devoid of compassion or community spirit; we were just looking for a way to show it.
What do we learn from the Olympics? The badminton players got booed for poor sportsmanship but were also expelled from the Games. One lesson simply is that regulations can work.