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Goodbye to our golden summer

It's all over. Our glorious golden summer of sport has finished. The Paralympics finished in spectacular fashion last night with a stunning Closing Ceremony, and now I'm watching the parade through London in honour of Team GB and Paralympics GB, on my computer here in Spain. No, this has nothing to do with Andalucia or Spain, but everything to do with being British, wherever you live. I was lucky enough to be in Britain during the entire Olympic Games, and for the Paralympics Opening Ceremony. I didn't go to any events at London 2012, not being organised enough to apply for tickets, and with not a clue as to what I'd want to see, as a non-sports-enthusiast. But I passed the Olympic Village many times on the train, and took my children there to get the buzz - the 70,000 purple-wearing "Games Makers" volunteers; the posters describing torch-carriers; the massive hoardings with faces of athletes. We got a look into from the best vantage point: the third floor of John Lewis in Westfield. Like most Brits, I have been gripped by all the sporting action on TV throughout the summer, from the fabulous, bonkers opening ceremony, to the nail-biting events, gold medal-winning cyclists, athletes, horsemen and women, rowers, canoeists, divers and others. The British teams - Team GB and Paralympics GB - were our greatest ever, winning more gold medals than any other in the history of the games. The event was well organised, running smoothly and providing enjoyment for viewers from all around the world, whether live at the venues, or at home on TV. The athletes at the presentation on the Mall are thanking all the volunteers, all the support staff, and every single person in Britain. Now the Pet Shops Boys are singing "Winner". Please excuse the sentimentalism, but the Games were an unexpectedly uplifting and inspiring experience. And this is a perfect finale. This is the moment We'll remember Every day for the rest of our lives Time may rush us Hurt or love us But on this day we have arrived It's been a long time coming We've been in the running for so long But now we're on our way Let the ride just take us Side by side and make us See the world through new eyes every day You're a winner I'm a winner This is all happening so fast You're a winner I'm a winner Let's enjoy it all while it lasts I've been a loser I've paid my dues I fought my way up from the ground Now at this moment The crowd acclaimed us Will you just listen to that sound! It's been a long time comming We've been in the running for so long But now we're on our way Let the ride just take us Side by side and make us See the world through new eyes every day You're a winner I'm a winner This is all happening so fast You're a winner I'm a winner Let's enjoy it all while it lasts It toke us so long and we worked so hard We came so far just to compete But don't forget all The love and laughther Now the world is at our feet Looking back on all the times We felt downcast Didn't think we didn't go anywhere Just living in the past But in the desperation You get inspiration You're a winner I'm a winner This is all happening so fast You're a winner I'm a winner Let's enjoy it all while it lasts You're a winner I'm a winner This is all happening so fast You're a winner I'm a winner Enjoy it while it lasts 'cause you're a winner. PS In fact it wasn't all over, because in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday 11 September), Andy Murray became the first British tennis player to win a Gran Slam title since Fred Perry in 1937, when he beat Novak Djokovich in the US Open final, in a five-set thriller. Talk about ending on a high note.
Blog published on 10 September 2012