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Goodbye to our golden summer

September 10, 2012 – 4:21 pm

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.

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