Saturday, 4 August 2012

Olympics Day 8: Super Saturday!

The middle Saturday is always the busiest days at an Olympics, and there were 25 medal events across London. Trying to watch this on TV with the BBC's 25 live channels was a bit of a challenge. Especially since the British competitors refused to stop winning everything from rowing to athletics to cycling in spectacular style. But one of the most impressive moments came early on when South Africa's Oscar Pistorius became the first athlete to compete at both the Olympics and Paralympics.

Winners from every nation are honoured in different ways. In Britain, gold medallists are pictured in their moment of glory on a first class stamp, issued the next day in their home town, where one of the local red postboxes is painted permanently gold. The Royal Mail has been very, very busy these past few days! In athletics alone today, Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah were an inspiration.

By contrast, in the USA, winners are pictured on a box of breakfast cereal, and they have their winning bonuses and even the value of their medal taxed by the government. Meanwhile, Michael Phelps won yet another gold medal in what he says will be his last competitive race ever. What a great way to go out.

Anyway, it was fun to see so much sheer joy today, and we can only hope it continues. I also rode the Tube across London and back this evening for a dinner party, and enjoyed watching the passengers in their colourful outfits, often wrapped in a flag or waving one, everyone in an upbeat mood. I kind of don't want the Olympics to ever end.

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