Saturday, July 28, 2012

let the games begin...

I thought last night's opening ceremony was simply spectacular... amazingly impressive and, at times, hugely moving (as far as I’m concerned, anyway – although I DIDN’T actually cry!).
So many “boxes” ticked quite brilliantly: national pride; celebrating diversity, character and achievement; breathtakingly different; quirky; funny; moving; technically wonderful; surprising; and magical; (and, probably, much of it only understandable to us Brits!). I think the BBC’s Chief Sports writer, Tom Fordyce, has described it perfectly here.  
And I thought the decision to use seven young athletes to light the cauldron (and WHAT a cauldron!) at the end of the opening ceremony was absolutely PERFECT… and quite inspirational. Just imagine if YOU had been one of those nominated young athletes – they must have been BURSTING with pride!
I have to admit to having some last-minute nerves about the ceremony(!)… I feared the organisers were going to get things embarrassingly “wrong”… perhaps be too jingoistic? Even amateurish or missing the point? Of course, I needn’t have worried – it was all just brilliant (except, perhaps, for the GB team outfits!?).
As you might be aware, there’s been an awful lot of hype regarding how successful the GB Olympic team will be in 2012. Frankly, although it would be wonderful if the team DID win lots of medals, I’m not all that fussed about the team’s success rate (I accept I might feel a little different in a few days’ time!).
But, I have to say, I also really enjoyed the lead-up to the festival – the infectious excitement and the huge public support for the entire Olympic torch journey (which really surprised me).
So, feeling proud to be British feels pretty good!
PS: Perhaps, my one regret is that I wasn’t one of the thousands of Olympic volunteers (in London, Weymouth or wherever). I can partly excuse myself due to my recent voluntary work with the Iona Community – until January, I wasn’t sure if and when I would be working on the island. This meant that I couldn’t commit myself very far in advance. Perhaps I could and SHOULD have made further efforts…  

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