It is a terrifically poignant moment when the Olympic torch is extinguished. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that the Olympics was only a couple of weeks of our lives. Yet it does and indeed should inspire a new generation and leave a legacy. Millions of memories made for the attendees, the Olympians, the volunteers, those who watched it on the big screens, on their televisions, in Great Britain and overseas.
What will you take with you from these past few weeks?
I’ve loved the enthusiasm of everyone involved:-
The volunteers who have, at every opportunity, offered a smile, a song, a dance or the most practical of support.
The armed forces who have kept us safe at every venue… and always with such welcoming and warm smiles and laughter.
The volunteers who gave up their time to perform in the opening and closing ceremonies. Their many many hours and trips to and from Stratford for rehearsals over many weeks.
I’ve loved listening to people talking about the Olympics, the flags, the colour, the spectacle. A little girl yesterday, sat behind me at the railway station, turned to her big brother and exclaimed “look the flags are dancing” (as they caught the breeze). As I looked up, they did dance too.
I’ve always been someone who talks to strangers (yes I know I should have paid more attention to my parents when I was younger!). But I’ve loved that they don’t think I’m a mad bird on public transport but they engage in conversation. I love that people are excited about the Olympics and that people who are nearby join in the conversation rather than bury their heads in their book or look the other way!
I love that it doesn’t matter what colour skin, age or ethnic group they’re from, we all chat together.
I loved the Irish chap who was sat next to us at basketball saying that he looked forward to meeting us again during his time in London – perhaps an assumption that London is small enough to bump into him again but certainly one that had made him feel as if it was small and comfortable!
I’ve loved that friends visit from overseas (from New York, Sydney and San Francisco) and I get to share the Olympic dreams with them.
I’ve loved that Mum played her part in the opening ceremony with her picture being on the memorial wall and in the closing ceremony as they played ‘Look on the bright side of life’ which was a song she was adamant should be played (and was) at her funeral.
I’ve loved being able to take my niece and nephew to Olympic events and creating memories with them that I hope will give them confidence and inspiration as well as in years to come they will tell their families and remember being there.
I’ve loved that my brother came up to London and to an event with us yesterday and I got to hang out with him for the day and together create a memory or two.
I’ve loved the laughter that has been a part of the opening ceremony (Bond 007 and the Queen), the closing ceremony, the volunteer drummers, the TV show Twenty Twelve and of course Team GB‘s and Tom Daley’s diving squad‘s YouTube efforts too! It’s great to know that we can still retain our sense of humour (even if a little wacky and odd at times) AND get on the medal table!
I’ve loved discovering and rediscovering parts of London that I’ve not seen or visited in a while. Parts of London that are looking at their best. A London that is welcoming, warm and friendly…. and mostly covered in bunting!
I’ve loved listening to people talk animatedly about the Olympics without swearing and bad language!
I’ve loved watching the Olympians at venues, on the TV and also listening to them in the background. I’ve loved sharing their ooooohs and aaaaghs as they do or don’t achieve their gold medals. I’ve held my breath and cheered them on. I’ve cried with joy and cried with disappointment.
But most of all I’ve been proud to be British. I’ve been proud that London has shown the world that despite the doubters, we really can show the world a beautiful city, an inspirational nation, a winning mentality and a confident future.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.