I’ve watched more sport this weekend in one go than I think I ever have in my life. Athletics, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, you name it and I’ve probably watched it.
I’ve never really been a sports fan apart from Formula One. Suddenly this weekend I found myself cheering people on in sports I had never seen before, talking tactics on the 100m sprint and half way through the Murray/Federer match looking up tennis rules so I could understand what was going on! By the end of the weekend “God Save the Queen” was practically running through my veins and I was more proud to be British than I ever have been.
You can say what you want about Great Britain. Yes, we are usually a nation of moaners. We expect the worst to happen and presume that it will. We are self deprecating and constantly pick ourselves to pieces. We are allowed to do this. It’s our right, we live here. But God help someone on the outside who tries to take us down.
It is exactly one year since the riots occurred and the spirit the supporters have shown in Olympic games really shows how far we have come since then. I think that the riots happening shocked all of us and made us wonder just how fractured as a nation we had truly become. The clean up organised afterwards was the first sign for me that people were standing together and refusing to let us fall apart.
One thing Great Britain is truly good at, although it has been some time since it has happened, is joining together as one. There can be no better example of this than when Jessica Ennis was in the final stage of the Heptathlon running in the 800m. I have never in my life seen, heard or felt anything like what happened that night. The roar of the stadium which grew and grew, the overwhelming feeling of pride and support for one of our own, it was truly unbelievable and something I don’t think I will ever forget.
You will always have the idiots of course, like Tom Daley’s Twitter troll and the Daily Mail (no explanation needed is there?). Overwhelming though this weekend our sports men and women and the supporters both in the stadium and watching at home have stood together as a nation and reminded us that Great Britain truly is great. We need to remember this feeling and carry it on. Be proud to be British.