So after seven years of anticipation, the Olympics have come and gone in a blink of an eye.
As the build up to the games began to get into full flow, I along with many others were asking, would it all be worth it?. Now that the games have drawn to a close, I have my answer, one hundred percent yes it was worth it!.
These Olympics have given this country more national pride than I can ever remember in my lifetime, At first I wasn't convinced on the 'Inspire a Generation' slogan for the games but now I know exactly what they meant. Of course having the most successful British team since 1908 helped a lot which has given the children of today new heroes to look up to. Unlike the usual football 'heroes' the way the majority of the athletes from every country conducted themselves throughout the event is a credit to the whole Olympic movement.
Even before the opening ceremony, there were a lot of skeptics (me included) asking if we could do the games and ourselves justice. For the opening ceremony Danny Boyle had the answers, where's Beijing went for precision and perfection, Boyle went for a typically British feel with unforgettable moments such as Rowan Atkinson on the keyboard during the Chariots of Fire rendition and of course, James Bond escorting the Queen in her dramatic entrance which will live long in the memory.
Once the official business had been taken care of, the games of the XXX Olympiad were underway. We were treated to sixteen days of fantastic sporting action with highlights including the brilliant Usian Bolt retaining all his titles and of course the success of Team GB. For me though the Fourth of August was truly the golden day of the Olympics, the six gold medals starting in Eton Dorney which culminated inside the Olympic stadium as Ennis, Rutherford and Farah gave British Athletics surely it's greatest hour.
There were other stories besides Team GB, it was an end of an era as the legendary Michael Phelps competed in his very last meet whilst becoming the greatest Olympian finishing his career with 22 Olympic medals (18 Golds). Another great moment of the games also involved Phelps but this time it wasn't about him. The reaction of Chad Le Clos and his father after his Gold in the 200m butterfly showed how much the Olympics meant and what it was all about. The pride in Le Clos senior's face after watching his son win will be one the iconic images for years to come. Also Phelps's dignity in defeat proved just what a great man he is.
There are many other unforgettable memories that will be taken from these games but as all good things do, it had to come to an end. The closing ceremony carried on from where the opening had left off with British national pride, this again brought joy to the British public and puzzlement to others. Legendary acts such as Queen, the Who and Ray Davies among others, ensured that the Olympics went out with a big party which even got Boris Johnson grooving.
So at the end of all this some have asked could we afford it?, Was it just a distraction?, Was it all worth it?. Well maybe we couldn't afford it, maybe it was a distraction but boy it was worth it because as Lord Coe rightly said: "When our time came Britain, we did it right."