As a proud, British young adult, I think I am allowed to state that London 2012 was most likely, the best Olympics and Paralympics ever held. Yes, I am biased, but I think I can make you see why.
You see, when we found out 7 years ago that we were going to hold the Olympics in our captial city, there were mixed reactions. The sport nuts went crazy, the cynics moaned about prices and tourists, whilst the majority of the country were not really fussed; 7 years is a long time to wait.
Our little country at that time was not at its peak. Just weeks after the announcement, 7/7 occured when we had terrorist attacks happen throughout our capital, which shocked many into not wanting to go visit, or get on a tube for a long while, (me being one of them).
But life goes on, and so do the years. The blue prints started to become realities, the volunteers choosing process occurred, and on the 14th March 2011, London unveiled it’s ”London 2012 Olympic Countdown Clock” which meant it was exactly 500 days till it all goes live.
Leading up to the greatest show on earth, the newspapers constantly wrote reports and inside information about how much we had spent on what, and about how busy London was going to get; it was grim. I was really excited for the Olympics and to see people moaning about it was disheartening. Us British people are known as the moaners, and that is because we do like to moan, even if we are happy, (some of the stereotypes you guys give us are true!) This came to a head when last summer, we suffered from the London riots, and we never thought we could pull back from such a travesty. In just a space of a year, we turned it around and I must say, I was very impressed.
Then it was showtime, and before we even had our opening ceremony, we mucked up. At the women’s football match, the wrong Korean flag was lifted which caused uproar to the sportswomen. That left us feeling rather foolish and the cynics jeered that they were proved right; well, they were just about to be proven wrong.
After that mishap, we gave the whole world an insight of what we are really like. We gave you fields with sheep, then we showed you how we evolved through the Industrial revolution, then we showed them an array of music and fashion from the 50’s to the modern day. We even gave you hundreds of flying Mary Poppins. Ok, I bet a lot of people got confused and probably thought that as a nation, we are crazy, as there were a lot of British references thrown in, but as a whole, I hoped everyone enjoyed what Danny Boyle beautifully put together. Again, this is related to the closing ceremony and both ceremonies for the Paralympics.
But, what I noticed was the athmosphere. Everytime I have commuted into London, everyone looks sad, tired and just wanting to go home. People’s conversations would be moans about their day at work, and how they have to get the kids dinner on the table inbetween their dance and football lessons. But the day the Olympics came, everything changed. People on the tubes were smiling, and chatting excitingly about the Olympics, about the Athletes. I went up to London a few times during both games, and watched on the big screens that good old Boris, the mayor of London, put up for our viewing pleasure. The athmosphere when we won a medal, especially a gold was deafening, and after everything, I felt it was bringing our country back together, by celebrating other people’s achievements. The day after the Paralympics finished, we held an Athletes parade. The turn out was incredible, and to see the heroes holding their medals, or not, but all smiling was amazing. They made us forget the ups and downs of living in Britain and for once, we were all happy.
The one thing I found the most heart-warming of it all was to the success of the Olympics and with everyone wanting to go there, the Paralympians took to the stage and got the reception they haven’t got for years. Tickets sold out for all events and ceremonies, and instead of seeing a 1/4 of the stadiums filled, the Paralympians got to perform on a big stage to an even bigger audience. The amount of amazing things I heard from passers by about how amazed they were with how the paralympians did these things, and fast too. You get the horrible cretins who talk horrible about disabled people, but they are human and really, they are super humans, because if I ran against Oscar Pistorius, or swam against Ellie Simmons, I still would lose and I am able bodied.
This years theme was, ”to inspire a generation” and it has done that, but not only has it done that, it blew it out of the water. Instead of inspiring just a generation, I think it inspired the whole of the human race, and for me, a girl who lives just outside London, makes me feel like I am a lucky girl living in a world where anything is indeed possible.