Well, what a spectacular Olympics we’ve just had – superbly done, China. I’m glad the Chinese made sure there was something for everyone – including gorgeous architecture and huge helpings of awesome spectacle for us less-than-sporting types.
Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt were the magnificent stars of the show, but of course team GB did us extremely proud. I’m also thrilled with Australian Matthew Mitcham’s gold for the 10m dive – the only out male gay athlete of the games (17,000 odd contestants) and he got the highest diving score ever!
Given the standard of the Chinese performance I was pretty much dreading the London hand-over bit. Given the scale of the venue even a London omnibus looked a bit lost; I was not at all convinced by the dancing element – what was that all about? – but things improved when the bus opened up and the dreaded Jimmy Page let loose with his guitar. And our own secret weapon, the man Beckham got one of the biggest cheers of the night from the crowd. So, in my view an honorable attempt overall – let’s hope we build on this for 2012.
Another real worry was our very own dear mayor, Boris Johnson. Let’s face it, anything was possible. But Boris behaved himself beautifully – very polite and proper but nevertheless managing to inject a pleasing informality into the IOC’s overly grandiose ceremonial. One had to marvel at the contrast between the communist Chinese mayor’s suave elegance and Boris’s very own trademark disheveled look.
He had his own classic Boris moment later back at GBHQ – “Ping Pong is coming home” indeed. Hilarious, and actually politically quite clever in that it quite upstaged Gordon’s more predictable attempt to bask in Olympic glory.