As the sound of cheers fades from our ears, I for one can say that this year I have been proud to be a member of the huge events which has made us all part of Team GB. It was with some doubt that I believe we all looked at the organisation of the Torch relay, Olympics and the ParaOlympics, but Lord Coe and his team have delivered a huge reminder why we are great. The country as a whole rose to the occasion cheering their own teams but also those of other country’s. The games makers created a really special atmosphere and the predicted chaos in London just did not happen.
As a family we enjoyed the opening ceremony in Hyde Park, with a little bit of rain followed by a fly past of the Red Arrows, always an impressive sight. I don’t think the kids where too impressed by their parents poncho’s.
The thing I will never forget is the roar of the crowd when the Queen appeared, if Hyde Park had had a roof it would have come off. However the best legacy of this was meeting two American tourists in a London Hotel some days later who truly believed that the Queen had jumped out of the helicopter. The show was superb and quintessentially British, and we can all be proud of our heritage. The crowning glory being the creation of the rings.
We then had the Olympics, which were well organized, had great security thanks to the armed forces and the games makers. I have never seen such big crowds with no aggravation at all, and it was spotlessly clean.
Once the Olympics finished we started to understand that the Para Olympics would be even more extra ordinary. I was delighted when my daughter told me she had got us tickets for the Velodrome. So early on Friday morning we set off and then I realised how far it was to the Velodrome and how hot it was inside (28 degrees). What I was not prepared for was the noise, it started as a low rumble on the other side of the drome and then came towards you as a wave until it broke over your head and hurt your ears. A sound that will remain with me forever. An amazing experience with world records being broken and athletes with only one arm and leg cycling faster than I can with all mine. One was just lost in the atmosphere and the sheer determination of these super athletes.
Once again the games makers and the crowds made this day for me all we need to do now is to remember this spirit and use it for the good of our country. I have now met people who have volunteered for the first time and said it was the best experience of their lives we have filled Stadiums to watch people of all abilities compete and I hope it has changed our views on those less fortunate than our selves to think what can they do, as in most cases it will be better than our efforts.