|The end of a great two weeks|
The London 2012 Olympics ended with a spectacular musical closing ceremony and the official handover to the next host city, Rio de Janeiro.
The closing show featured some of the biggest names of British rock and pop from decades past, including the The Who, Spice Girls, George Michael, one half of the Eurythmics, one third of Genesis, one quarter of Pink Floyd and Elbow. Although the games were about leaving a 'legacy' I couldn't help thinking that aside from Emilie Sande, Jessie J (and her unfeasibly long legs), Mr Tempah and Mr Cruz the whole three hours had the whiff of 'Dad Rock' about it.
The official Games flag was handed to the mayor of Rio before the flame at the Olympic Stadium was extinguished, the handover even featured the Brazilian word for 'imptotent' as that country's most famous number 10 joined in the celebrations.
I don't believe that you can put a value on sporting excellence, or failure in the case of some sports, which means I must be a real leftie after all, sport like art isn't something that comes from a cheque book but from within. That said it was good to see lottery money being used for a visible purpose, although of course one of the ironies lost in the 'state school v public school' debate is that it is the poorer members of society who contribute more money to the national lottery in relation to disposable income and who therefore possibly balanced the argument in terms of resources.
My distant memory of the 1966 World Cup Finals in England is really restricted to the day of the final and the arrival of a new three piece suite. My memory of the 1996 European Championships are of empty stands at Anfield and St.James Park for the group matches. My memories of the 2012 Olympics will however be of fantastic competition, of the noise, of the tears, the shouts of joy - and I'm only talking about the battle for the seats in our house. It has been great to watch from the spectacular opening ceremony through to the extinguishing of the flame.
Thanks Seb for believing in it from the get go.