It’s the school holidays; August bank holiday weekend is around the corner and, in true British style, it’s raining cats and dogs. The British weather is well ingrained into our national psyche; this is borne out by the number of “overcast” weather-related proverbs that add vibrancy to our language.
I sometimes think that our unpredictable climate may add weight to our nation’s pessimistic outlook. “Us Brits” looked ahead to the Olympics with the view that we could not possibly pull off an event of this magnitude and significance with any degree of style and efficiency. As for the weather? Well… that was out of our hands. The British stiff upper lip quivered at the thought of a myriad of visitors to London being disappointed by our capital, culture and climate.
The rest is history. We witnessed a gold-laced British summertime event that delivered medals in spades. The weather even entered into the spirit and played ball. What unfolded was a British sporting showcase based in London that surpassed all expectations. The Olympics organisers seemed to have thought of everything; even our “mind’s eye” expectations of a concrete Olympic Park were replaced by golden wildflower meadows. Visitors to each venue reported them to be smooth, efficient and cheerful; as a nation, we collectively overflowed with pride. Even the most unenthusiastic spectator would have been hard-pushed not to have been caught up in the Olympic euphoria. It was epic.
We have plenty of “damp” proverbs within the English language, due to their origins in weather predictions for our sailors and farmers when their success and failure depended on it. There are fewer bright and sunny expressions of the “Olympic variety”. However, for visitors to London 2012, and spectators both at the sporting venues and in front of their TV’s this summer, I have one especially for you: The tans will fade, but the memories will last forever.
Every summer has a story; this year, the London 2012 Olympics was the British story.
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