The world is leaving today.
I watched a Modern Pentathlon replay after the closing ceremony, that’s how badly I am Jones-ing for the Olympic events to continue.
Yeah, I was sceptical. Mitt Romney created a firestorm of resentment and rekindled all of the self-doubt this nation plagues itself with over the tiniest things. What if we screwed up badly on a world stage? was in the back of everyone’s mind.
But when Team GB sent the Romney’s $77K tax-deduction prize horse Rafalca home a Dressage loser, you could here this entire nation scream enmasse, “suck on it Mittens!”
People have been smiling at each other on the Tube, something that under normal commuting rules could be dangerous or fatal. There have been spontaneous outbreaks of song everywhere. Crowds gather outside of the BBC village studios to cheer athletes coming and going for interviews.
And the BBC has never done better coverage than this year. Imagine live covering a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and concert, Olympic Torch run across the nation, Wimbledon and the Olympics without breaking a sweat. All events without tape delay, live on 15 red button channels, the Internet and your iPhone? And many were without ridiculous, breathless commentary, so you could truly watch every moment without the mute button depressed.
These games of the London 2012 XXX Olympiad were a wonder.
From the pizza delivery scooter guy winding cyclers up for 2/3 of the Keirin to that amazing Saturday night when Team GB won the Women’s Heptahlon, Men’s Long Jump and ‘Mo Fever’ in the Men’s 10,000 metre run in one evening. It was a period where no one had every seen normally sceptical Brits resigned to coming in fourth or worse, express such sheer, unbridled joy. It was as if all of the Victorian era chains were finally unbound and the nation reacted with complete, uncivilised joy!
Retailers up and down the High Street reported a surge in sales due to increased sales of Team GB goods. With stunning backdrops like Parliament, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to Team GB owning the spectacular purpose-built Velodrome, these Olympics surprised everyone! Politics took a back seat around the globe as we saw volunteers smile and Britons cheer on athletes from every country in full-throated joy! There was nothing we could say to mock anything and that was rare.
Even internal devolution/secession disputes where Andy Murray would have been Scottish if he lost but British when he won were long forgotten. At the National Eisteddfod in Wales, 1st Minister Carwyn Jones gushed over Team GB’s performance! This at a Welsh-language only festival where people are better known for rooting for Wales and whomever England is playing against. The late Rodney King whose police beating during the LA riots elevated him to an almost cult-like status would have been proud… we all “learned to just get along.”
The retailer Argos saw a surge in trampoline sales and even the plush doll one-eyed bizarre mascots Mandeville and Wenlock jumping at every venue (and made in China) saw brisk sales. So venues across the UK will now be torn down, people will return to work and we all will incessantly push the red button on our remote controls looking for anything Olympics, even a replay of the Men’s Hockey bronze medal match!
Anyone up for a quick game of Table Tennis?
Denis G Campbell is the author of 6 books including 'Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show,' 'The Vagina Wars' & 'Egypt Unsh@ckled.' He is the editor of UK Progressive Magazine and provides commentary to the BBC, itv Al Jazeera English, CNN, MSNBC and others. His weekly 'World View with Denis Campbell' segment can be heard every Thursday on the globally syndicated The David Pakman Show. You can follow him on Twitter via @UKProgressive and on Facebook.
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