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A big Olympic hug

August 12, 2012

Well, the last day is upon us. We are both feeling a mix of emotions – pride, joy, a buzz that is like being a child at Christmas, but also a sense of impending bereavement. Seven long years ago, when it was announced that London would be the host of the 2012 games I felt similar emotions. But not on this scale. The Christmas present has been more enormous, impossible and beautiful than I could ever had imagined. From the first gold medal won by rowers Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, to the unstoppable Mo Farah’s double gold for the 5000 & 1000m – there has hardly been a day pass without there being something to celebrate. The rush of adrenaline is contagious, even the pain in my back seems to have paled in the last fortnight, despite it having been virtually glued to the sofa or stuck to an uncomfortable seat in one of the arenas in the Olympic park. I find myself talking to strangers about it, and am bitterly disappointed when they don’t share my own unbounded enthusiasm. What is wrong with them? Even the most cynical of our friends seem to have caught the bug. Those who haven’t, have become social pariahs. I feel for them. This big Olympic hug has cured my cold in record time (four days) and eased the pain in my back. Just think what it could do for you.

I am also incredibly proud of my Gamesmaker husband. So many early mornings, very, very late nights – we are both running on coffee and adrenaline. He has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of emotion by complete strangers, swapping stories, pins and experiences has been life changing for him I think. To give up your time for so many hours, for nothing other than the personal satisfaction volunteering can give you. I think he was inspired by his late father – who, after being made redundant in his early sixties devoted the rest of his life to fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support.

But it’s not over. On August 29th there begins the story of true heroism in sport – The 2012 Paralympic Games. The BBC advert has already had me in tears. Already the organisers have told us they have sold around 2.5 million tickets, outselling Beijing’s 150,000. So, let’s carry on the feelgood factor long into the Autumn, and dark winter nights, and remember these few inspiring weeks. Tell David Cameron that the ‘big society’ he keeps harping on about has been in action long before he or his spin doctors dreamt up the phrase.

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