What a summer it has been for London. In the months leading up to the Olympic Games there was much talk about whether London would be able to cope. Countless stories appeared in newspapers warning of transport delays which on the whole didn’t materialise.
London has delivered one of the greatest ever Olympic Games and certainly the greatest Paralympic Games. Ever since the extraordinary spectacle of the Olympics Opening Ceremony we have been in awe of the performers, the volunteers and of course our Olympians.
Team GB and Paralympics GB have exceeded all expectations. The achievements of Greg Rutherford, David Weir, Jonnie Peacock, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Ellie Simmonds (to name but a few) have been truly inspirational. I for one will never forget this summer. The evening of “Super Saturday” when a group of around 30 people crowded a friend’s front room and cheered as Greg Rutherford, Mo Farrah and Jessica Ennis delivered one of the greatest evenings ever in British athletics. I’ll remember my two trips to the Olympic Park and being in awe of its beauty and structural brilliance. We have seen three outstanding ceremonies (the fourth, the Paralympic Closing Ceremony still to come this evening). From dancing nurses and The Queen playing Bond girl, to The Spice Girls being reunited, an appearance by Stephen Hawking, and flying wheelchairs we have put on shows that will have the world talking for years to come.
London invited the world to come and see the best of what this wonderful city can offer and they came. The remarkable thing is that the transport network coped. It was stress less and if anything I witnessed most Londoners welcoming the Olympic visitors with a smile and a helping hand. This of course leads us to the volunteers who have helped made London 2012 so much fun. They have helped the crowds with a smile on their faces and their enthusiasm has been infectious.
It was hoped that these games would “Inspire a generation”. I believe we have achieved that and much, much more. We are a country in dire financial difficulty but our sense of pride couldn’t be higher than it is right now. You can’t put a price on that. London delivered and I believe the majority of people in this country will have been inspired in some way by these amazing events.