So the London 2012 Olympic Games have come to an end.
A spectacular closing ceremony last night – with music, song, dance, awe-inspiring stadium lighting and fireworks that made up the greatest show on earth – brought the past two weeks of competition to an emotional climax.
The sight of the Olympic spirit rising as a phoenix from the dying flame is an excellent metaphor to apply to the 2012 Olympics legacy in the coming weeks and months, not only in terms of the big picture politicians and others are painting about investing in school sports throughout the UK (“empowering a new generation”) and helping British businesses “reap the rewards”, but also for Team GB and the launch platform their success has built in these games.
All the doubt, worry and criticisms before London 2012 about our ability to host these games quietly vanished within days of the start, replaced instead with powerful and growing feelings and displays of national pride as we witnessed thousands of athletes from around the world doing amazing things in open competition, right here in our capital city and other places of competition around the UK.
Indeed, worldwide worry disappeared.
And we were suddenly proud to be British, uplifted especially by the achievements of our Team GB, collectively and individually – and that includes the 70,000 volunteers – with their selfless hard work, team spirit and determination to succeed, maybe even win a medal or two.
If government can enable the framework – that’s their prime job – then Team GB can be an influential player to kick-start the legacy.
As they say so compellingly, don’t stop me now.