Phew. So we survived. Like being best man at a wedding there were plenty of pre-gig nerves, but just like being at a wedding, everything went by in a brilliant blur, Boris played the embarrassing uncle and there was a party at the end that went on too long and left you feeling slightly grubby.
The BBC did their stuff as well as we could hope for, offering a comprehensive coverage of every corner of the event, whilst avoiding the banal lows of the Jubilee commentating debacle. It was interesting to note that the two best commentators of the games turned out to be Michael Johnson in the athletics and Ian Thorpe at the pool, both of them showing that actual experience of winning a gold medal will always trump hollow postulating and a pre-prepared Shakespeare quote. As always for me the favourite moments were those bits when the camera cut to a family member as their loved one took the gold, and the worst bits were the mawkish montages and the closing ceremony’s line up of stale old has-beens, bringing us back to earth with a bump whilst showing the world that the UK can be condensed down into the cast of Hi-de-Hi! gurning to a scratched CD of Now That’s What I Call The 90’s. In truth I think that the closing ceremony was everything we feared the opening ceremony was going to be.
The most interesting question of how we will come to view these games in the future may be whether this was the last time that we performed together as ‘Team GB’, and whether the Scots and the Welsh will go their own way for the next ones. If they do decide to leave then we can be sure that our haul of medals will never again be repeated, and these two weeks will become a milestone event similar to the ’66 World Cup – a high point from which we will forever aspire to but never again attain, becoming increasingly breathless and ululatory in our demand for an endlessly compounding pile up of slow motion montages. All in all though I think we can rest easy in the knowledge that when it came to our moment in the spotlight we really did a rather grand job.