There was a time not so long ago when I wouldn’t have said I was proud to be British, I wouldn’t have called myself patriotic, and I wasn’t excited about the Olympic Games. I started off as one of the people indifferent to the London 2012 buzz that murmured across the nation, cynical as always, and doubtful that the games would be a success.
But, oh my, how I am eating my words. The past seventeen days have had me glued to the television screen, on the edge of my seat, my heart pounding. I’ve shared the elation, the celebration and the heartbreak. I feel like I’ve lived the games – like I’ve been a part of it and it has been a part of me. Watching the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games I could feel my heart swell with pride. I am part of the nation that hosted these games. I am part of the nation that welcomed the world with an incredible, diverse and educational opening ceremony. I am part of the nation that that won 65 medals (that’s one for every 964,000 people in Great Britain!). I am part of the nation that has shown its true colours to the world – the grace of our people, our determination to succeed in the face of adversity and most of all, our pride.
I’m British and I’m proud.
In a post not so long ago I explained the feeling I get when I come the the last page of the last book of the Harry Potter series. I got that same feeling tonight. As the final day of the games came to a close I felt like it took a part of me with it. I’ve felt such an intense connection to the games over the past two weeks – to the athletes when they outdo themselves to reach the podium and when they suffer and you can feel their pain, to the commentators whose passion is so infectious it feels like your own, to the volunteers who have been ever present and who are normal people, just like me. And now that it’s over all I can ask myself is this:
What do I do now?