Super Saturday Showed Us What’s Great About Britain
The organisers of the London 2012 games had promised August 4 would be a ‘Super Saturday’, but it turned out to be much better than that. With an outstanding six gold medals won by Team GB, ‘Olympomania’ swept the nation.
During the day we cheered the success of Britain’s rowing and cycling teams. As evening fell, all eyes were on Jessica Ennis, the face of the London 2012 Games. Fortunately, she delivered, winning the Heptathlon with that unbeatable smile.
Greg Rutherford, an unexpected hero, leapt into the public consciousness by securing a gold in the men’s long jump. When Mo Farah ran to victory in the 10,000m, the nation went wild and so did Twitter.
A ginger, a Muslim immigrant and a mixed race woman walked into a bar…
Earlier in the week Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, highlighted an issue that few were talking about publically, saying it was “wholly unacceptable” that half of Team GB’s gold medalists in Beijing four years ago were privately educated and calling for an overhaul of school sport policy to redress the balance. During the rowing and equestrian events you could have been forgiven for thinking the same story was playing out in the London games, especially when Zara Phillips became the first royal to be handed a medal.
However, last night’s victories in the athletics highlighted the unique diversity of the UK and stirred emotions in ways that were reflected on Twitter:
The Daily Mail’s stance on so-called “plastic Brits” also came under fire in this spoof of their front page:
Let the power of Sport into your life
A decade ago I remember seeing ads for Sky Sports encouraging me to ‘Let the power of Sport into your life’. Yesterday was the first time I could truly understand why. The writer and poet Musa Okwonga captured the emotions felt by Black Britons on a day that is already being compared to England’s victory in the 1966 football World Cup:
From Danny Boyle’s amazing opening ceremony to Super Saturday, the London Games have been the best possible advert for the UK because they’ve shown the world what is Great about Britain. This tweet by James Graham summed it up nicely:
And all this was before Andy Murray beat Roger Federer to take gold in the tennis.
It’s just as well most Olympic venues don’t have roof tops, because they would have all blown off by now.