Okay. So I was fully prepared to be the un-sportsfan in the house, the un-Olympic one. I was all set not to care about Team GB, join in the whinging about how difficult London travel is whilst all these people are visiting.
I think that lasted all of about one day.
Now, I find myself invested in sports I didn’t realise were even sports and cheering at the TV as if they can hear me.
I think they call it Olympic Fever. I’ve been sucked in to the frenzy of Olympic enjoyment. I’m loving it – even though I feel I shouldn’t. I’ve even started counting medals like a miser over his coins.
I openly admit I enjoyed the opening ceremony (a little more cynical about the closing ceremony seeing as it’s going to be a blend of Monty Python and Spice Girls from all accounts). I openly admit I’m a bit in love with Usain Bolt (he’s just so lovely). I even openly admit I screamed just as loud as everyone else when Chris Hoy won his sixth gold. But I can’t believe how much I’ve been enjoying the Olympics!
I’ve enjoyed practically every second (although the lusting after Tom Daley just plain creeps me out – he’s far too young). It’s been observed that one of the British eccentricities that has come to light over the London 2012 Olympics is the ability to cheer on… well… just about anyone. We Brits love an underdog, let’s be honest, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what bizarre sport you’re competing in, we love you anyway and we’re going to cheer for you: welcome to London!
I think it helps that we’ve lucked out on the weather – two weeks earlier and I think the whole thing would have literally been a wash out. But apart from the odd shower here and there, the sun has shone on these Games, and with it the good will of all.
The first thing people talk about when they see each other is the Olympics, people who were – like me – unfazed by the whole thing have gone up to London to spend a day in the Olympic Park, or bought last-minute tickets. When I went to London the other day, I overheard someone on the train Googling the sport they were about to go and see. It didn’t matter what they were seeing – they were kitted out in the Team GB colours, foam finger and all, desperate to join in the party.
And what a party it is!
So I’m afraid I’ve been converted – I’m an Olympics advocate. I cheer on Team GB/anyone else. I am suddenly an expert in dressage, handball, synchronised swimming and track cycling. I nod knowingly at the 10-second 100m and cry foul at a fluffed pole vault. But isn’t that part of the experience?
Every Team GB medal is a medal for the country, and I’ve never been prouder to be a Brit (despite Morrisey whinging about blundering jingoism – what a prat, he has no idea what he’s talking about and is just spouting off for the sake of making news and getting attention).
I’m chuffed to bits for my country, and even prouder when I hear the likes of the Jamaicans complimenting us. I’m the most proud, however, of Team GB. Their sportsmanship and grace when they lose, but also their phenomenal efforts to win. As a country of sit-on-our-backsides-and-watch-Eastenders types, as a country of people who try to avoid sport as much as humanly possible – to see these incredible athletes proving their skills, their maturity and that Great Britain is a team to contend with, is hugely satisfying.
And now I’m gushing. So instead I’m going to watch the women’s handball match (and cheer for South Korea or Spain, whoever is the underdog!)
What’s your favourite bit of the Olympics so far? And for my non-UK readers – what do you think of London 2012?