MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: Olympics are as good as it gets
1:20pm Tuesday 7th August 2012 in Sport
IT takes a great deal for me to turn off the cynical side to my nature.
You spend seven years writing about a specific subject – London 2012 – and see how jaded you become by the time the event actually gets under way.
As a football writer who feels passionately that the representation of a Team GB football team was a mistake – all for financial game, with potentially dire consequences and with a substandard squad that didn’t justify the exercise – I’ve basically subjected readers, friends and colleagues to nothing but mirth for weeks.
Despite making clear my disdain began and ended with the football aspect of the Olympics, I can’t say it particularly had me inspired.
In truth had sincere doubts as to whether the Olympics as a whole could live up to the hype, feelings compounded by empty seats when like so many other punters I couldn’t buy a single ticket. However, and very pleasantly, the London Olympics are exceeding all my expectations and to be frank, the past week has rivalled any sport I’ve ever witnessed.
This is as good as it gets folks, sport at its absolute finest and a reason for everyone in Britain to feel proud as athletes from all corners of the UK produce Herculean efforts.
The usual supreme efforts from our rowers and cyclists have been a delight and events many of us would ever normally watch – gymnastics, canoeing, shooting and sailing – have produced extraordinary drama and reasons for pride.
The likes of Ben Ainslie are role models and genuine icons of their sports and with a phenomenal boxing squad yet to yield their full reward the sky is the limit in terms of a potential medal haul.
That doesn’t even factor in the amazing and unprecedented scenes on the track where in one hour thanks to Jessica Ennis, Mo Farrah and Greg Rutherford, Britain enjoyed arguably its greatest night of global triumph since the England football team won the 1966 World Cup.
Here in Wales the likes of Tom James and boxers Andrew Selby and Fred Evans have already produced glory moments and as a long time fan of Andy Murray, I was beyond delighted that the Scot finally won a big one.
There is an ethos and spirit in the Team GB ranks that truly stirs the soul and from the magnificent opening ceremony, the London Olympics has showcased the UK in a unanimously positive light around the world.
My advice is to saviour every second because in a sporting sense, this truly is as good as it gets.