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Wow did Britain need that! After hearing constant reminders that the world is in recession and then with the onslaught of continuous rain throughout the summer we really did need a little refreshing surprise. And what a surprise we got. Never has one been so proud to be British. The 30th Olympiad brought prosperity and pleasure to a downbeat nation. It was a much needed boost for the people of Britain and it really made our citizens proud to be from the UK. In our pessimistic voices we spoke about the Olympics as if it was going to be another white elephant and a big farce where our leaders would squander our counties cash and mess up by embarrassing ourselves in front of the world. How wrong could we have been? I have not been around for donkey’s years, but I’m old enough to have seen many other counties succeed and organise events that we would look at in envy. It seems, wherever I looked, passionate and dedicated people were organising themselves in a way to ensure their countries won the prize, every time. We continually speak about how good ‘others’ are at putting things together and applying themselves to win competitions and sporting events. Well that passion and dedication has certainly come home. I believe as soon as our public watched the opening ceremony they knew that the entire event was going to be a huge success and we was to be viewed, once again, as a nation that cares and is truly patriotic by heart. The opening ceremony brought together the history of Britain along with fantastic musical geniuses, literature greats and show stopping television personalities. It was a highlight packed show and for many the best highlight was certainly Mr Bean performing “Chariots of Fire”. It was truly a laugh out loud comedy combined with the fantastic performing skills of Rowan Atkinson. The scene when her majesty the Queen and Daniel Craig jumped out of a helicopter to the James Bond theme tune was innovative and well received by viewers. I would understand that the athletes’ energy and determination to succeed would propel them in a winning direction; however the energy omitted by the entire country in support of these outstanding human beings led them to perform like champions and excel all past performances. Didn’t we do well! If we put the big stack of medals to one side for a minute we are left with a huge legacy that proves that we are an excellent nation that can come together in good times as well as bad. We have proved that we can organise the biggest sporting event in the world with great ease whilst keeping everyone safe. The media have allowed our public to be part of the Olympics and embrace the feeling of true comradeship as if we are all Olympians. If we glance back to the huge stack of gleaming medals, our success is truly reinforced, and we can all take some credit for facilitating these achievements. The nation as a whole can stand proud, and continue to stand proud to ensure the patriotic momentum continues and ensures the flame of this beautiful legacy burns forever. I hear that politicians have been urged to unite behind “one clear plan and vision” to ensure the country benefits from a golden Olympic legacy. It would be silly for the politicians to let go of this huge opportunity to move forward with a public that is more patriotic than before the war.
Apparently Hundreds of sporting clubs and leisure centres have seen an increase in interest following the success of the British Olympics and Paralympics teams. Figures from the Local Government Association show that athletics and cycling centres have seen an increase in use since the successes of stars like Jessica Ennis and Bradley Wiggins.
In a further boost to legacy hopes, Lord Coe confirmed that he would run for the post of chairman of the British Olympic Association after successfully overseeing the organisation of the London Games.
But there are concerns that the UK will miss out on the promised long-term economic boost. The Telegraph reported that the Centre for Cities think-tank said London should draw on lessons from previous host cities such as Sydney and Barcelona; otherwise the legacy may not be delivered.
The group has drawn up a five-point plan, including continued financial support for projects, a “clear vision” for future use of the Olympic Park and help for people in east London to find jobs. Alexandra Jones, the chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “There are many lessons we can learn from previous Olympic cities. What unites those that had a successful legacy is a robust and consistent strategy to make the best of the opportunities that the Games can bring to the whole city.”
For the people that also like to look at the benefits from an economic angle, Brendan Barber, head of the Trades Union Congress, also urged ministers to “learn from the Olympics” and create policies to boost the economy. He told the TUC conference in Brighton yesterday: “We can’t muddle through greening our economy. We need investment, planning and an Olympic-style national crusade.”
David Cameron has claimed that the UK will derive more than £13bn of economic benefits from hosting the Games through a combination of additional inward investment, overseas exports and tourism growth. But financial analysts fear his projections may be way above the mark. “A lot of the figures that were put in place before the Games are looking a bit optimistic now,” said Samuel Tombs, an economist from Capital Economics.