I know I’ve had a Much Love Monday brought to you by Queen with this very track before now, but it’d be so rude not to play it again, even if it is sponsored by Adidas. This is TeamGB celebrating the most epic Olympics ever. Full stop.
How fab is Sir Chris Hoy? How lovely is Jennifer Ennis? How cute is Louis Smith?
I have loved the Olympics, as you can tell. It’s been great. I’ve got a massive great big gap in my life now. I even watched right to the very end, with the final medal for the women’s pentathlon. And a Lancashire lass – Samantha Murray – won the silver. It couldn’t get any better. Not only that, she was in fourth place as she went into the shoot/run, but she just powered it through. I watched the handball with the closest game ever between France and Sweden. Not sure what was going on with the Swedish coach’s Bjorn Borg-style hairdo, but it was entertaining nonetheless. He gets gold for the centre parting. I watched the basketball and though it was great to see the USA win gold, Spain put up such a good fight.
It’s just been contagious fun and there’s been such a good atmosphere. Whether it was Denise Lewis getting carried away when Mo came running in, or Mo and Usain doing this:
It’s just been a joy from start to finish.
I’m also Much Loving the BBC coverage. The BBC get a lot of stick. And so they should, sometimes, since they’re playing with taxpayers’ money. But I don’t think any television broadcasting company in the world did the same job as the Beeb. I’ve heard from American friends that they wanted to see some OTHER teams or athletes, and likewise the French. In fact, I’m pretty ashamed that France isn’t showing the Paralympics AT ALL. That’s crap. Boo Hiss to France. But I bet they’re not the only ones.
It brings me to a conversation I had yesterday. GB, as a nation are fairly humble. Hear me out before you start reminding us of our colonial past and the Empire. Only Great Britain would show ALL the games, as they do most of the time, whether we’re in it or not. I was saying I wondered whether we might finally get a World Cup football tournament now.
How silly of me.
Most people use their positions of power to nefarious ends. If they’re on an Olympic committee, well, they don’t play fair. And only British people seem to think that they should. Look at FIFA for instance, with Sepp Blatter. In fact, seeing the popularity of Boris during the Olympics (well, and before, to be honest… it’s a cult!) it reminds me that we British like our politicians honest. We don’t care how qualified they are as long as they are determined and honest. And we’re truly disappointed when they turn out not to be.
So I’ve loved the Olympics for that, because despite our size, we’ve put ourselves up there with the USA (five times our population) and China (twenty times our population) and Russia (over twice our population) and it’s not just the elite with their boats and horses, but the underdog with her boxing gloves, or the hardworking ‘normal’ girl, the determined teenager and the emotional refugee. It’s a celebration of normal people, people who you wouldn’t recognise in the supermarket. And it refocuses ‘celebrity’ on honestly-acquired fame, rather than ‘fame for fame’s sake’ or the secret lives of our overpaid, overindulged footballers who wouldn’t know how it feels to really put their heart into it.
Like in the European Cup. I was quite pleased to see John Terry playing a bit like he wanted to win. Like it meant something other than a pay cheque. But if the crowd did the same to him as it did to Samantha Murray as she powered past the person in second place almost as if they were standing still, then England would have won the European Cup.
So Much Love to the Olympics for putting good feeling at the top of the agenda on the news and in national consciousness. No politics. No crime. No acts of terrorism. No religion. And Freddie Mercury beamed high over the stadium like the real Queen of England, twenty years after his death.
And no, I didn’t want it to stop at all.