One moment in time

I have just emerged from a bubble. A televisual bubble. A sporting feast of a bubble. My name is Fran and I’m an Olympics-aholic.

Phew. London 2012 – you have been pretty damn fine.

Jess and Mo and Kath and Nicola and Greg and Alastair and Jade and Ben and Chris and Victoria and Luke and Ed and Charlotte and Andy.

And Tom and Becky and Zac and Lizzie and Christine … and on and on and on. It’s not an endless list but oh my, it’s a mightily impressive and heart-warming one.

Team GB’s gold, silver and bronze medallists have been an immense source of pride and joy, of punching-the-air and screaming excitement. And of  bucketloads of tears as they strove and strained and succeeded (and at times failed) over the last fortnight.

Every athlete has a back story that is the stuff of Hollywood and every single one of them is a magnificent example of what hard work and determination can do. And of how sport can be a tremendously unifying spectacle.

Better yet, they show us what we can achieve collectively, what our disparate and too often fractured society is still capable of when we have a common goal and the common good in mind.

I was going to dust off my soapbox and indulge myself in a rant about how politicians (ie Cameron and Boris the buffoon) should butt out of sport cos it’s something they knew heehaw about.

And how half-baked ideas about enforcing competitive sport in school is not how we will create the Olympic champions of the future but how sport, especially when you’re a kid, should be about fun and participation and learning how to win and lose with grace and showing respect to your team-mates and opponents.

I was going to talk about how even the Union flag, in my eyes too often a symbol of division and oppression, has suddenly become instead a symbol of togetherness but Musa Okwonga expresses it so much more eloquently than I ever could so go read him instead. And read his beautiful Olympic poem too and Carol Ann Duffy’s too.

Because it’s Sunday morning and I’m still on my Olympics high, that feel-good euphoria that began with Danny Boyle’s endearingly bonkers and hilarious opening ceremony.

(By the way. HM – who knew the old yin had a sense of humour? Even this avowed republican had respect for that little Bond cameo.)

There’s still the closing ceremony to come with its threats or perhaps promise of Chas n Dave performing.

And then what? Back to life, back to reality, I guess – recession and politics and child murders and the Euro and Syria, all of which has been continuing while our gaze has been elsewhere.

Hold on to this feeling, though. Bank these positive emotions in your mind.

And no matter how grim it gets, we will always have Jess and Mo and the rest of our wonderful sports women and men and the spine-tingling memories of a magical and enchanting two weeks.

PS The BBC rose superbly to the challenge of broadcasting every single moment of action – Debbie and I have had our own Olympics battle daily over the remote control to scroll constantly through those 25 dedicated HD channels. Presenters, commentators and expert pundits have been (in the main) superb – Clare Balding, Matt Baker and Jake Humphries, the hilariously dry Michael Johnson, Ian Thorpe and Gabby Logan among my personal favourites.

But oh dear, Gary Lineker. After a pedestrian Euro 2012 with the comfort of his old muckers around him, Lineker was shown up  as a very poor presenter, so far out of his depth that at times it was embarrassing.

PPS I love football and am as prone as the next fan to idolising those who can kick and head a ball well. But oh dear. Compare and contrast our spoiled and pampered footballers with the strength, integrity and dignity of so many of the athletes competing in London 2012. Time for football to remember it’s a sport, not simply a cash machine for young men and the idle rich.


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