It’s often said that self-deprecation is one of our national characteristics – and, more than that, so often we seem to do a jolly good job of overlooking the things we’re good at and putting ourselves down.
The forthcoming Olympic Games have been a case in point of late, with all sorts of criticisms flying – about security, about the potential twee-ness of the opening ceremony, about likely problems on our public transport system and so on.
Indeed, during a recent radio interview with Games’ organiser Sebastian Coe, he pointed out right at the end that the word ‘sport‘ had been absent from the entire conversation, which had focused on all the things that might potentially go wrong during the Olympics!
Particularly in the light of the amazing achievement of Bradley Wiggins at the weekend – the first Brit ever to win the world’s toughest cycle race, the Tour de France – maybe we should, just for once, allow ourselves a little bit of national sporting pride.
Let’s hope Wiggins performs as well on home turf, along with all our other key hopefuls, Jessica Ennis, Rebecca Adlington, Tom Daley et al. And wouldn’t it be great if there’s the odd surprise among the ranks, too…even if we do end up laughing at the sheep and Morris dancers who open the Games and having the odd hiccup getting around the capital in the coming couple of weeks?
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