Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Olympics: How shall we extol thee?

The other day I was at the pub and someone said, "The Olympics. What a waste of money.Do you know how much it cost?" And I didn't punch him, because in this post-Olympic world I am a Better Person (but I still wanted to). He was the first person I've met, or even heard of, since the Games began three weeks ago, who wasn't in love with the whole thing. I, an unsporty girl who is chronically unco-ordinated and used to actually go home instead of doing PE at school, am mourning the end of the Olympics. It's like my best friend left the country and I won't see her again for four years. And even then it'll be somewhere weird and strange and I won't be able to get there on the train.

So why, despite the Olympics being unbelievably expensive, disruptive, and, let's face it, the epitome of my worst nemesis, Sport, did I love it? Well...

Because there was James Bond, and the Queen, jumping out of a helicopter. A sentence so full of epic win I had to put it in bold type.

Because for the first time there were women on telly that I'd be really happy for my infant niece to want to emulate. Women who worked really hard on their bodies not so men would fancy them, but to achieve their goals. Women who were gracious when they won, or when they lost. Who shook hands and hugged their competitors. Who fought like gladiators but behaved like ladies.

Because the athletes of both sexes are pretty hot, and I am, let's face it, shallow.

Photo: The Telegraph

Because when I said to my dad, "Doesn't the football start up again soon?" he replied, "I don't know. I don't care." Because after a fortnight of good sportsmanship and athletes who actually win stuff, footballers are starting to look like the tawdry, overpaid, underachieving dickheads I've always suspected them to be.

Because a whole western nation was on its feet screaming in delight for a black man called Mohamed.

Because there was a horse dancing to The Lion King, and if that doesn't make you happy then I suspect you're incapable of emotion.

Because we had the BBC (which actually cost about a fiver per person during the Games. Yep)

Because 'You fight like a girl' now makes me think of Nicola Adams, Katie Taylor, and Jade Jones, and wonder where I've put my boxing gloves.

Photo: The Guardian

Because for two weeks this damp little island, broke and debt-ridden, grey and rainy, miserable and self-loathing, whose national sport is usually whingeing, actually became a land not just of hope but of glory too.

Because for two weeks, the whole of Britain was actually happy.

Do I know how much it cost? No. But I know how much it was worth.


  1. Great post, Kate - I agree with everything you said!

  2. Thanks Christina! It's always nice to have something positive to blog about.